After a 16-year NFL playing career, nine Pro Bowl appearances and three first-team All-Pro awards, it’s safe to say John Lynch knows a thing or two about football. The Broncos Ring of Famer also knows a great deal about, well, the Denver Broncos.
Lynch was the color commentator during Denver’s 2016 preseason games where both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch were competing with Mark Sanchez in the first go-around of this competition.
On Wednesday, as the new general manager for the San Francisco 49ers, the former Bronco great saw the two quarterbacks on the field in person as Denver practiced against his new team leading up to their Week 2 preseason matchup on Saturday.
After practice, Lynch had a concise, honest description on where he believes the Broncos’ quarterback competition currently stands.
“I think highly of both those guys,” Lynch said. “I think Paxton has those ‘wow’ throws, but then it’s just the consistency, and Trevor is extremely consistent.”
While his comments weren't long, they were telling.
As a current general manager, and former safety, Lynch likely knows which of the two philosophies—‘wow’ throws or consistency—he would rather have as his starting quarterback, or go up against on defense. Unfortunately, he didn’t show his cards to that on Wednesday. Fortunately, for months Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph hasn’t been as shy to what he prefers.
While Denver’s two young quarterbacks are drastically different types of players—and both come with their positives and negatives—Joseph has made it very clear what he is looking for in the quarterback he ultimately chooses: consistency and decision making.
On July 31, a week into training camp, when Joseph was asked what he’s looking for to differentiate the two quarterbacks, he simply said, “I’m looking for decision making.”
During the offseason and throughout training camp, the dialogue in Denver has circled around Lynch having the big-play ability, while Siemian has been labeled as consistent—with Joseph even saying, “He’s been Trevor. He’s been consistent,” when asked about Siemian’s play during the second week of camp.
On the other side, when Joseph was asked what he would like to see from Lynch in Saturday’s preseason game, where he will get the start, his response was along the same lines.
“I want to see consistency,” he said on Monday in preparation for the 49ers. “Decision making is always an important part for me from that position.”
The difference between the way Joseph talked about the two is simple: he talked about Siemian’s consistency matter-of-factly, while he was hopeful to see the same from Lynch on Saturday—in a similar fashion as the 49ers general manager described the two.
With the competition still open for either quarterback to take, the Lynch, the retired Bronco, believes Joseph and his staff is handling the competition the best possible way.
“I think the only way is just to let that play out and see who kind of rises to the top and that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “I have great respect for both of them. It’ll be interesting to see it play out.”
For the rest of the competition, specifically during Saturday’s second preseason game, John Lynch and Vance Joseph have made it very clear: consistency will be key for Paxton Lynch to become the Broncos’ starting quarterback.