The Denver Broncos have made the decision to move beyond Trevor Siemian, but with Paxton Lynch still working back from a shoulder injury, they turned to Brock Osweiler to start this week against the red hot Philadelphia Eagles.
If there is one thing Osweiler exuded in his first interview with the media since being named starter was humility. You can tell he is a guy hungry for a chance at redemption.
“On a personal note, it’s hard to really put it into words just because of how much love I have for this organization, my teammates and this city,” Osweiler said when asked about being named the starter. “This week’s not about me. I’ve answered those questions when I left and when I came back. This week is solely about our football team finding a way to get a win on the road in a hostile environment against a great opponent. We know we have a huge challenge ahead of us, but we’re excited to go out there, compete and see what we can do.”
The other thing you will notice is a guy who has strong leadership traits. Osweiler talks a really good game in that area, which is something he probably learned from backing up Peyton Manning all those years.
“The first thing with leadership is that it has to be authentic,” Osweiler said about how to be leader on this team. “If your leadership is not authentic, nobody is going to buy into it. You’re not going to create a following. As far as my leadership role, I’ve always been the same guy. The person you’ve seen in practice, in training camp and in games when I was playing in 2015, that’s not going to change. I’m going to go out there with confidence. I’m going to lead with confidence. I’m going to play with confidence. I’m going to demand a lot out of my teammates and I want them to demand a lot out of me. I want everyone to hold each other to the highest standards possible, the Broncos standard. My leadership is just who I am. I’m not going to do anything special. Whatever my gut feeling is or my gut thought, that’s coming out.”
The only thing people really cares about is how Osweiler is going to help this team win games and he has a tough one in Philly this week. There are areas of concern that got Siemian benched and those were turnovers and red zone efficiency.
First with turnovers.
“That’s absolutely where it starts,” Osweiler said of limiting turnovers. “In fact, every week in the National Football League, winning starts with protecting the football. There’s a stat—I’m not even going to throw out the number because I’ll get the number wrong—long story short, when you win the turnover margin and when you don’t turn the ball over at all, your chances of winning skyrocket.”
The second is red zone. Siemian looked like a guy trying to do too much out there, especially in the red zone. Osweiler isn’t going to worry about that. He is going to live in the moment, which might be the best way to get things done.
“I think when players get in trouble sometimes is when they make the game bigger than what it really is,” Osweiler said of managing the game. “It’s a very complex game, it’s a very fast game and there’s a lot going on. There’s calls, there’s audibles, there’s side adjust and hot [reads], but you can slow the game down, and like Coach said, just manage it. Take care of the football, find completions and find ways to move the sticks. You don’t always have to take the big play. Four plus four plus four equals a first down. Check downs are OK and flats are OK. It’s taking what the defense gives you and taking it one play at a time. When you have that approach and you stack up a lot of good plays, you’re going to have good results at the end of the game.”
He needs to have a good game. The Broncos defense has been expressing frustration over the offensive ineptitude this season and it had begun to boil over. Osweiler understands this and relishes the high standards the team has.
“Not at all,” Osweiler said when asked if defensive frustrations put pressure on him. “In fact, I love that the defense is frustrated. If you look at it from our perspective it’s a great thing because it means they care, it means they want to win and it means that they want to see this football team do great things. In order for that to take place, we need to hold up our end of the bargain. To me, I think it’s a great sign that they’re not complacent and ignoring the fact of what we’ve done the past couple of weeks.”
If you look back to 2015, Osweiler had his best games against the best teams. He lost his job for having bad games against bad teams. The Eagles are the best team in the NFL right now, so it would be awesome to see Osweiler rise to the occasion once more and keep this newfound starting job.
It also helps that the Cleveland Browns are picking up the tab for Denver.