Much of the quarterback talk this season has been relatively unproductive as imaginary lines have been drawn by fans between the top two quarterbacks - Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
With all our collective knowledge about the learning curve in the NFL, expectations for this team to go to the Super Bowl, having a Hall-of-Fame QB in the front office, and Gary Kubiak choosing Siemian, etc., you’d think we could go with it, right?
Nahhhhhh. What would we talk about, after all?
But Leigh Steinberg, a long-time NFL agent who represents Paxton Lynch, is here to save us from ourselves.
Speaking to The Afternoon Drive today, he had some of the best comments on this “QB controversy” when asked about No. 12.
Basically - relax.
“The adjustment from playing at the collegiate level to playing at the pro level is a high one, so I’m pretty relaxed with the fact that the Broncos have a plan,” he said.
Steinberg added that he’s not about to question a Hall-of-Fame former QB and the coach who just took the team to the Super Bowl.
“When it’s time, it’s time,” he added, saying Lynch is “ready...but with a caveat.”
The caveat being that he will struggle. And a team trying to get back to the Super Bowl is in a different position with its first-round draft pick than teams just trying to get better.
“Any young QB is learning on the job,” the agent said. “He’s still going to go through the adjustment process.”
I know many of you want to jump in here and argue that Siemian hasn’t had the experience either, but it would be a moot point, because Kubiak has obviously thought Siemian is farther along.
As much as Lynch wants to play, Steinberg noted that the first-round pick has no problem with his role right now.
“Is Paxton Lynch competitive, would he love to be playing? Yes he would. Does he understand the situation? Yes he does, and he’s very supportive of the Broncos’ drive to get back to the Super Bowl,” Steinberg said. “Whenever it is the right time, it’ll be the time, but right now he’s supportive in rooting Trevor on and getting the Broncos back to the Super Bowl.”
Siemian had a day off from throwing today to rest his sore shoulder, so Lynch got the keys to the car.
Whether Siemian will remain the starter or Lynch will get a green light at some point after the bye is really only a debate in the blogosphere.
At Dove Valley, Kubiak is just concerned that his young quarterback group is improving and aiming to play at the highest level they can play.
And the coach believes they are getting there, but the key is getting there quickly.
“I want Trevor to play at the highest level he can possibly play at down the stretch because that’s important for our team,” Kubiak said Tuesday. “One thing about it, when you get in positions, regardless of who is in there, whether they’ve played seven games or 70 games, it’s time to be at your best. That’s what we’re trying to get to.”
Kubiak noted on Monday that the second-year QB often has poor depth perception in the shotgun, drifting too far.
“When it’s good, he’s stepping up. Sometimes he’s drifting and getting hit when he shouldn’t be getting hit, so it’s something that we’re addressing and we have been actually addressing for about a month,” Kubiak said. “He gets on the road, [it] gets loud, [he] gets in the gun, you start getting away from the center a little too far and now all of a sudden you’re back there hitting 11 yards. We’re not going to protect you if you’re doing that.”
Despite the harsh words, the coach heaped praise too.
If Kubiak doesn’t appear to be making any changes in the depth chart for QB, the offensive line may be a different story.
Noting that Ty Sambrailo is going to start playing a lot more, the coach indicated they are considering a six-man front to help get some protection.
“I think Ty deserves to play more, and he’s going to play. Are we going to play six or seven guys? That’s what [we] are trying to figure out right now,” Kubiak said, adding that offensive line coach Clancy Barone and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison have been looking into that solution.
They’ve also been taking a microscopic look at the line generally to figure out how to help it become more consistent.
“We studied all day and night last night as coaches. We tried to present to the players today—‘Here are some things that you do well and here are some things that we don’t do well. As coaches, we have to improve it and you have to improve it,’” Kubiak added. “They’re walking out of here on their break knowing where they stand when they come back Monday. We have to play better up front. We have at times, but we’re looking for that consistency as a group.”
Les Shapiro and Eric Goodman consider how much weight to put on Kubiak’s criticism of Siemian and John Elway’s compliments of him. Plus some talk on the offensive line.