All quarterback competitions have some level of complication, but the Denver Broncos’ battle might be on the high end of that spectrum.
According to Andrew Mason of the Broncos’ web site, coach Vance Joseph said it will be “a group decision – mine and the [coaching] staff and obviously John [Elway] is going to have impact.” All major decisions like that are, to some degree, “a group decision,” but the inclusion of Elway is notable. Joseph is a rookie head coach, hired by Elway, and Elway basically is synonymous with the Broncos and could run for office in Colorado tomorrow and win almost unanimously.
Elway didn’t deny that he’ll have input in whether Siemian or Lynch starts Week 1, saying he’d give his opinion but “ultimately it’s Vance’s choice,” via Mason.
This could get uncomfortable. Perhaps Siemian or Lynch will make the decision obvious. Siemian will begin the first practice with the first team, but Lynch will alternate reps. If there’s no separation, it will be a tough call for Joseph. There has been plenty of speculation that Elway prefers Lynch – who he drafted in the first round last season after a trade up. If that’s true, and there’s a split among the group that will decide, things could get interesting.
Siemian did fine as a first-time starter last season, throwing for 3,401 yards and 18 touchdowns in 14 games. But the former seventh-round pick isn’t viewed as having the same upside as Lynch, who is big and has a great arm but didn’t impress in two starts as a rookie last season.
The Broncos are the best team in the NFL with a true quarterback competition, and it’s likely to drag on through most of training camp. It’s the second straight season the Broncos have dealt with questions at quarterback through August.
A lot of tension in the building will be avoided if Siemian or Lynch do so well there’s no question about who the starter should be. If not, those group meetings might be pretty interesting.
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