ENGLEWOOD, Colo.— Deep down, Gary Kubiak might be having a little fun with all this.
Sure, with the Broncos’ second preseason game set for this Saturday, he would like to figure out who his starting quarterback is going to be sooner or later. But, in the meantime, why not have a little fun?
“Any idea who will start Saturday?” the Denver Post’s Nicki Jhabvala asked shyly.
“No, I’ll probably work on that tomorrow,” Kubiak said for the second day in a row as a sly smile crept across his face and the assembled media broke out into a hearty chuckle.
“I thought they did a really good job. It’s good for them to see different stuff. Mark [Sanchez] makes a great play at the end of the two-minute drill. Trevor [Siemian] makes a great throw in the two-minute drill. We got to make the plays, so it’s a good competition. They’re both becoming really good players, and it’s a tough decision for us, but that’s a good thing — because they’re doing their job.”
Trevor Siemian and Mark Sanchez have been locked in a battle for the Broncos’ starting quarterback job since training camp opened. Many had hoped that one would have emerged as the clear starter by this point. That simply hasn’t been the case.
Neither quarterback has been able to separate themselves in the competition, and it seems the longer it goes on, the hazier the Broncos’ future becomes at the most important position on the field.
Or does it?
In actuality, the Broncos are very confident in their future at quarterback.
Paxton Lynch is the future.
Whether Kubiak chooses to go with Siemian or Sanchez for the opener against the Carolina Panthers, either quarterback would simply be there to keep the seat warm.
They might not even be in that role for all that long. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Lynch play at some point this season, perhaps in the first 10 games if things go badly for the defending champs.
And starting Lynch sooner rather than later wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. He has certainly shown the talent necessary to do the job.
Throughout Broncos’ training camp, Lynch has made the best throw of the day nearly every single day. He’s shown incredible mobility, flashed eye-popping arm strength, and has improved the mental side of his game every day.
“I know that when I first got out here, it was spinning and it was moving fast for me,” Lynch said. “But, it’s getting to the point where I can hear the play call and slow it down a little bit and get in the huddle and move past some things quicker.
The more opportunities Lynch is given, the closer he gets to being the quarterback the Broncos believe he will be. He’s already shown flashes of the pocket presence and pinpoint accuracy that got him drafted in the first round to begin with.
It's only 1 game and it's a very small sample size, but there is a lot to like about Paxton pic.twitter.com/bok2YtcKQY
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) August 16, 2016
In particular, Lynch is showing more of a willingness to check the ball down and take easier, higher-percentage completions than he was at the beginning of training camp when he was prone to just chucking it deep on nearly every throw. Sometimes, he’ll even show off his trademark athleticism and scramble for positive yardage.
“That’s one thing that I’ve kind of started to learn: just to trust my instincts,” Lynch said. “Like I did in college, if I felt the pocket break down, then I wasn’t hesitant to get out on the run and try to make a play that was way outside of the pocket. Kubiak doesn’t mind me getting out of the pocket and making a play as long as I keep my eyes up and make a good one. Whenever the pocket breaks down, I just trust my instincts — and if it’s to get out of the pocket, that’s what I do.
As of right now, Lynch is still very much the third man on the totem poll in the Broncos’ quarterback room. Yet, that doesn’t mean he isn’t getting good advice from the two more veteran passers above him on the depth chart.
“We’re all rooting for each other, but we’re also pushing each other at the same time,” Lynch said. “Mark and Trevor are good guys, and they’ve been there to help me through the process.”
Make no mistake: someday soon, Paxton Lynch will be the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback. For now, though, he’s still in line for his rookie haircut.
“I’m not sure about that,” Lynch joked. “You’ll have to ask Mark and Trevor when that is.”