Like all Broncos fans this offseason, I've been watching the quarterback competition intently.
And like most fans, I had an opinion about which player it should be.
And like some fans, Trevor Siemian was not my first pick.
That's not to say I'm going to be less of a fan now. If anything, the fact that the defending champs have a second-year quarterback leading the challenge to repeat makes me feel the need to be more of a fan.
But it is to say is that I'm wishing I weren't trying to talk myself into this quarterback choice as much as I am.
And I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes me hesitant to embrace No. 13 with much celebration, dancing and perhaps even letter writing?
Is it the sales job I feel like I'm constantly getting from the media?
The one where the "reporters" feel like they need to be Siemian's personal PR team?
(2/5) "He's had a chance to sit in the meetings. He's had a chance to watch Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler play."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 31, 2016
(5/5) " ... while this kid continues to progress and show the world what he's all about."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 31, 2016
Maybe it's the less-than-exuberant responses from players?
Even Gary Kubiak, whose positive-yet-measured response that Siemian earned the job over the entire offseason with hard work and improved play, gives me pause when he also says the rookie backup to Siemian "needs as many reps as possible" and is "on the fast track" to learn the offense.
Kubiak said they're putting Paxton Lynch on the fastest track possible. Unlike most backups need to find ways for extra work during season— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) August 30, 2016
When Emmanuel Sanders, a wide receiver who worked with all three QB prospects throughout the competition, was asked about the decision, his first comment was just "we finally got the process over with so you guys could stop asking us about it," and then his next reply sidestepped his own reaction:
"I know Trevor is excited. I think we had a great quarterback competition. I think all three quarterbacks came in and played well, but the staff and Kubiak and everyone wants to go with Trevor," Sanders said Monday. "We're going to start working on Carolina and start trying to build even more chemistry, working after practice and trying to get on the same page so we can start winning some ball games."
I'm well aware of the danger of reading too much into quotes, but that is not exactly a ringing endorsement.
To be fair, though, as the presser went on, Sanders was definitely more positive about his starting QB's ability to be successful.
"He's very poised. Even when he comes into the huddle, he's always the same guy," Sanders said, adding that he remembers telling Demaryius Thomas last year that Siemian "had an arm" and could make all the throws. "He definitely knows the system and he knows what Kubiak expects. I think that we can win. I think that we can win a lot of ball games. I'm happy that the process is over. Now we can get to work and getting chemistry."
With a second year for everyone in the system, including the starting quarterback, Sanders believes very definitely that the offense will be better. Plus, Siemian took advantage of learning from Peyton Manning, and Sanders - who was always a big supporter of Manning - couldn't underscore that enough.
"Once you have an opportunity to play behind Peyton Manning you kind of understand the quarterback position and what it takes," Sanders noted. "Trevor didn't have much time, but in that year he learned a lot. He learned how Peyton prepared and his thought process and the way he carried himself."
DeMarcus Ware also seemed to mostly give a "party line" at first when talking about the decision.
"Each one of the quarterbacks, they work really hard and they had an equal opportunity to get out there, play and show what they can do," Ware said. "Each one of those guys are team players. Just finding out that Trevor's starting, he's the guy, he's going to be our quarterback and we're behind him 100 percent."
If I didn't know better, Ware almost sounds like me talking myself into this choice.
Luckily I do know better.
"When you look at quarterbacks, you always look at, are they great decision makers under pressure?" Ware added. "He's one of those guys where in practice when we're coming, we're blitzing and he always makes the right decisions."
Much better. I can work with that.
Perhaps Siemian himself can sell me on the decision to put him at the helm?
Especially as we face a Super Bowl rematch against an angry Carolina Panthers team with even more weapons than it had in the Super Bowl, I want to hear a confident and excited quarterback reassure me.
"Honestly, it hasn't changed my mindset too much," Siemian said about being named starter. "I think all of us in that room, that's the way that we're thinking and that's the way that we're approaching every day...I haven't thought about it too much."
OK there it is. This is why I'm having a hard time getting enthusiastic. Because I'm not sure Siemian is enthusiastic.
He's as aloof as Jay Cutler and unassuming as Kyle Orton. These are not necessarily bad qualities, and I always appreciate humility, but...Orton and Cutler? So, I'm struggling.
I want to see fire. I want to see passion. I want see a guy who would be pretty darn disappointed if he didn't win the job and a lot excited that he did.
I want to see a #FunkyVonSackDance - or at least a Dekoda Watson one.
A little sack celebration. Had to cut it short you see "Him" back there eyeballing me! Lmbo!… https://t.co/vvlBaBLDO8— Dekoda Watson (@dekodawatson57) August 22, 2016
As Kubiak pointed out, "You just became the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos" ...the Super Bowl-defending champion Broncos, I would add. Offer your utmost respect to Mark and Paxton, but then tell us you always knew you could be the starting quarterback and you're excited to get out there and take this team to another one.
C'mon, Trev, make us believe in you!
I get it. That's not really his style, and I'm going to need to let it go. And truthfully, as long as Siemian is wearing an orange and blue jersey, I will cheer for him as hard as I do all the players (maybe even a little more, just in case).
When I was in fifth grade, I hated my teacher (mostly because other kids said she was mean). I came home complaining every day to my mom, and after a week, she was done listening to me complain and I was instructed to say one nice thing about my teacher every day. Of course, I rolled my eyes at the thought but did as I was told. You know the end of this story, right? I ended up liking that teacher better than any others.
So here's my final point...
I've been making up my mind about Siemian based on all kinds of outside factors that influence my opinion and make me think I am right. And I might be, but the truth is, none of it has really been a lot to go on and none of it is giving him a chance to prove himself first.
So rather than complaining, I'm going to think of one great thing about his QB skills every day - because as a fan in the stands, it sure beats the alternative - and get behind Siemian as our No. 1 quarterback.
And I'm going to start that with another thing that Kubiak said:
"As a coach I have to do a good job for him. I have to help him in every way I can. Is it a lot to ask of a young kid? Yes it is. It's not a lot to ask of our team and I believe in our team."