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Here's why the Broncos named Trevor Siemian their “permanent” starting quarterback

Zac Stevens Avatar
August 21, 2017

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — On Monday morning, in the back rooms of the UCHealth Training Center, Vance Joseph, John Elway and their staff made the decision to name Trevor Siemian the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback for 2017.

On Monday afternoon, in front of the media, Joseph couldn’t be more emphatic that Siemian won the job hands-down. When asked if the third-year quarterback was the clear-cut winner, Joseph responded, “Yes, yes, yes.”

“When you watch all of the game tape from the last two weeks and training camp and OTAs, it was a full evaluation; he was the clear-cut winner,” Joseph said. “There was separation.”

The reason Siemian held off Paxton Lynch—the first-round pick of just a year ago—for a second-year in a row was what Joseph has said during the entire competition would be the key to winning the job: consistency.

“Overall, the operation of the entire offense, decision-making, ball placement was more consistent with Trevor, that’s why he won the job,” he said. “Trevor was more consistent with what we asked these guys to do as a starting quarterback.”

After winning the starting job in a battle between he, Lynch and Mark Sanchez last year, Siemian went 8-6 in his 14 starts in 2016, missing two due to injury, yet was thrown into another competition with Lynch this offseason. In the win-now industry that is the NFL, Siemian provided the best path for racking up “Ws” in the Broncos’ eyes.

“It’s all about performance, not potential. Trevor is ready to lead our football team,” Joseph said. “We need a guy who can operate at a high-level all of the time.”

During the two preseason outings, Siemian proved he was the consistent option that was capable of operating at a high-level—posting a 97 passer rating in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears and a 128.2 in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night.

“I said the games were going to be an important piece, and the games were in my opinion,” Joseph said. “Trevor played better than Paxton in the actual games.”

In the preseason, Siemian finished 14-for-18 for 144 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 118.5 passer rating, while Lynch went 15-for-22 for 81 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions for a 74.2 passer rating.

The most glaring difference in Week 2 was the control of the offense, highlighted by yards per drop back. Siemian’s 8.5 yards per drop back dominated Lynch’s 2.3. To put this in perspective, in 2016 the Atlanta Falcons 8.2 yards per drop back led the league, while the Los Angeles Rams had a league-worst five.

Joseph’s decision to move forward with Siemian isn’t just for the first week of the season, either. When asked if there were any set of circumstances that would take Siemian out of the role, Joseph shut down the idea immediately: “No, no, no.”

“It’s a huge deal to name a starter at any position, so it’s a permanent position,” the head coach said. “Obviously, outside of injury, that’s different, but as far as Trevor being our guy, he’s our guy. That’s why time was not an issue, just getting it right, so we are not backpedaling in two weeks. So, Trevor is the guy.”

With consistency being the key to winning the job, Siemian was the clear-cut answer for Joseph and Elway to quarterback their team for 2017. As for moving forward, Joseph just wants Trevor to be Trevor.

“I want Trevor to be himself. He’s a bright guy. He’s focused,” he said. “Trevor gets no credit for being a guy with a great arm. He’s got a great arm. That’s never been talked about as far as Trevor’s arm talent, but he’s got a great arm. Just be yourself, Trevor. Use your weapons, be a leader and play good football for us. Just be Trevor.”


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