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Minicamp Observations: Broncos quarterback competition begins to take shape

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
June 7, 2016


Tuesday marked the opening of the Denver Broncos 2016 mandatory minicamp, three practices entirely open to the media. BSN Denver was on hand from start to finish to bring you the latest.

Here’s what we saw:

Quarterbacks falling into place

For the first time this offseason, the quarterbacks were locked in with their group. Mark Sanchez ran the entire day with the first team while Trevor Siemian handled the twos and Paxton Lynch worked with the threes.


The highlights of the day for Sanchez seemed to all come with Emmanuel Sanders, Kubiak even mentioned the building chemistry between the two after practice. The two hooked up twice down the field to get behind the defense.

Despite the connection between those two, Sanchez is still extremely late on most of his throws. It seems the offseason acquisition is struggling with some indecision in terms of where to go with the ball. With the defense not necessarily being allowed to sack the quarterback at this time, it’s hard to tell how detrimental the indecision really is but to my internal clock, it feels like Sanchez would be taking some serious hits.

With the defense not necessarily being allowed to sack the quarterback at this time, it’s hard to tell how detrimental the indecision really is but to my internal clock, it feels like Sanchez would be taking some serious hits.


Despite Sanchez running with the ones today, it still feels like Siemian is the most comfortable out there. Where Sanchez has been indecisive, Siemian has been the opposite—taking his drop, hitting his back foot, seeing the field and firing the ball. The extra year he has in this system is still quite evident.

As Sanchez clicked with Sanders today, it was Siemian clicking with “Sunshine” Taylor. Siemian and Taylor had the play of the day when the second-year QB reared back and released a bomb down the middle to Taylor who rose above two defenders to make the catch, landing on his back and hanging on. The two connected multiple times throughout the day.

“Jordan Taylor is my guy,” Siemian said after practice. “We have a lot of reps together going back to last year. He goes up and gets the ball.”

The arm-talent that got Siemian to Denver in the first place is obvious day in and day out and his confidence seems to be rising quickly. There’s a long way to go until camp but the kid has been impressive.


It’s no surprise that the QB with the most stacked against him has fallen a little behind in the competition. Paxton is a rookie, has never been in an offense like this one, has a ways to go with his footwork and is currently drowning in information. It’s not a knock on Paxton’s talent or potential at all, he just has a lot coming at him right now.

Lynch is still showing his high ceiling every day, he’ll sprinkle in some plays that wow you here and there but, for him, he’s going to have to be able to string those plays together consistently.

On a day where it seemed chemistry with receivers was a motif, Paxton was, of course, clicking with fellow Memphis Tiger Mose Frazier.

“I try to find him as much as I can,” Paxton admitted with a laugh.

With both players working in the third group today, Lynch looked for Frazier often and the connection was effective.

Roby the starter

All offseason you’ve heard the Broncos tell you they have 10 returning starters because they consider Bradley Roby, who played more than half of the team’s snaps, a starter.

Well, with Aqib Talib, at the very least, on the mend with his gunshot wound, Roby gets his chance to really be a starter. Gary Kubiak said it will be a good opportunity for the third-year man, who spent his day working hard in coverage against Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.

Like any day for a corner, there were ups and downs but depending on how long the Broncos are without Talib, these true first team reps as the No. 2 corner could prove to be very valuable.

Kick return wide open

On Tuesday, we got a look at the kick return competition and it seems to be as wide open as any of the battles on the field. Seven players—Cody Latimer, Durron Neal, Mose Frazier, Kalif Raymond, Taurean Nixon and John Tidwell—got to try their hand at bringing back kicks with Latimer getting the first reps.

As we have talked about at length when it comes to wide receivers, there’s a good chance that the last spots at the position on this roster will come down to a player’s ability to contribute in the on special teams.

If Latimer can add kick return to his special teams swiss army knife, that could go a long way to putting away any doubts about him making this roster.

Ware he belongs

With minicamp being mandatory, absent-to-this-point DeMarcus Ware was out on the field today but with his back injury still bothering him, he did not participate in practice.

That being said, Gary Kubiak said after practice that there has been “really positive news in the past four or five days” when it comes to the healing of the injury.

With a veteran like Ware, there’s no reason for the Broncos to rush him out there, he’ll rest the back until it’s back to full strength.

Roll call

Five Broncos were not in attendance today:

Bralon Addison (School)

Aqib Talib (Gunshot wound)

Von Miller (Contract holdout)

Kyle Peko (School)

Aaron Neary (School)

Adam Gotsis and Kenny Anunike w.ere present but not able to practice due to respective knee injuries.

Addison, Peko and Neary all graduate this week and can then join the team.

Talib is expected to be back at the team facility tomorrow but will spend the day with team doctors.

Miller is still working towards a long-term deal but says “real progress” has been made recently.

Stayed tuned to BSN Denver for all your minicamp coverage.



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