John Elway and Gary Kubiak love competition. They want players to earn whatever they get. It’s been the theme of the Denver Broncos since the former teammates and roommates re-connected last season. “Nothing is given. You want it, take it.”
So they say. Now is the time to prove it with their quarterbacks.
For the second week in a row, Paxton Lynch was by far the best quarterback on the field for the Broncos. And that is despite being in an unwinnable situation.
According to the doubters, if he has success, “He did it against third-string players who won’t be in the league come the first cuts. Don’t get too excited.”
If he stumbles, “He’s just not ready to start in the NFL. He needs to sit a year.”
That fails to take into account who Lynch is playing with. The rookie has been forced to play with guys who won’t be in the league come first cuts; especially along the offensive line. Yet he’s still been the best quarterback on the field for the Broncos.
Isn’t the goal of the quarterback to make his teammates better? To “rise all boats” as we heard with Peyton Manning? All we hear is how important this position is to football teams, yet when we see it from Lynch, it gets loaded with caveats and excuses.
The time has come for Lynch to start. This little competition was fun to talk about and made cute stories, but enough is enough. The other two don’t and won’t cut it.
And John Lynch just said what every #Broncos' fan was thinking: "If I were Kubiak, I'd start Paxton next week. Give the kid a shot."— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) August 21, 2016
Fans are always the first to react. But if the fans see it, so have the players. You started to see visible frustration from players and coaches over the inabilities of these other two quarterbacks. That will only mount the longer this is delayed.
Why not give Lynch the chance? What do the Broncos have to lose? What does Kubiak have to lose?
The other two are what we thought they were. They are what Elway and Kubiak should have known they are.
As I said after the Chicago Bears game, Trevor Siemian is a backup quarterback. Not great, not awful. More just “meh.” He looked and played as you would expect a backup quarterback should. He won’t get much better.
Mark Sanchez played like Mark Sanchez. Unlike Siemian, Sanchez at least threw the ball more than 11 yards down the field. He also morphed into the turnover machine he is and always will be.
Neither one of those quarterbacks will change. No matter how many competitions they’re involved in. What you see is what you get, and it’s not great. It’s not very good either. You won’t win a Super Bowl with either as your quarterback; even with this incredible defense.
A 97.0 QB rating for Paxton Lynch. Operating under constant duress. Threading the needle. This is a night of which he can be proud.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 21, 2016
Then there’s Lynch. He’s shown two weeks in a row his arm strength, accuracy, play-making ability, toughness and fire. He’s shown tremendous upside, and what he brings is far better than the other two have to offer.
If the Broncos are going to get rookie mistakes, they may as well as start the rookie. Lynch will struggle. He will make mistakes and may cost his team a game. But the ceiling is so much higher with him. He makes his team better and he may win his team a game it shouldn’t.
Give him the chance to start in the third preseason game. Let him go against better competition, but also let him play with better personnel. Allow Lynch the chance to play behind the starting offensive line so he’s not running for his life. Let’s see all of his attributes with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Virgil Green. Give him the benefit of working with a much-improved running game that will open the field for Lynch and the offense.
I don’t know about Kubiak, but I would much rather know what I have in Lynch after a meaningless preseason game then in the middle of the season when the games count and you have no clue what he can do.
You then put yourself, the coaches and players in a game of “what if?” What if the Broncos had given Lynch his shot against the Los Angeles Rams in that third preseason game? We would at least know more than we know right now.
The idea is good in thought. Let Lynch take his rookie season to grow and learn as a quarterback in the NFL. Then reality smacks you in the face with an out-of-nowhere right cross. You stumble. You’re caught off guard, but you gather your feet as quickly as you can before the damage gets worse and you get knocked out.
Elway and Kubiak love to talk about competition.
How nothing with the Broncos is given, but earned.
Time to put your money where you mouth is with your rookie quarterback.