Despite head coach Vance Joseph adamantly denying any one quarterback has taken the lead, it is clear to most that Trevor Siemian is at least a little bit ahead of Paxton Lynch in this quarterback competition as they prepare for their first live game action of the 2017 season.
The Denver Broncos season rests on how well the eventual starter plays and Thursday night against the Chicago Bears is the first time we’ll get to see how much they’ve actually improved over last season.
Siemian is definitely feeling more comfortable in practice and even he noted how much more confident he feels now compared to when Broncos training camp began.
“I can’t tell exactly when, but probably a week or so I just kind of felt a little more comfortable and things were clicking for me,” said Siemian. “I got a big picture thought of how we were trying to attack scheme and defenses. I’ve just felt comfortably probably that last week getting going and also getting a feel for all of the guys. First or second group, it doesn’t matter. It’s just getting the feel for how guys run and what they do well. I think we’re all in a good spot right now.”
The biggest area of improvement for Siemian is to begin attacking the middle of the field, which if done successfully puts even more pressure on the opposing defense to defend against the pass. It will also help open things up for the Broncos tight ends.
“We want to put pressure on the defense every snap and every play,” Siemian said. “That’s a common theme all over the place, it’s just how well can you do it. I think with the guys we have, receivers, running backs and the way our offensive line is coming together I think we have a good chance to do that. It’ll be exciting once we get into these games a little bit.”
Those plays over the middle will open things up in the run game and also open things up for the big plays down the field. Last year, Siemian’s only real success beyond 10 yards came on the classic go route. Those are great, but few quarterbacks can rely on that being the only deep route they can threaten a defense with.
“You have to have big plays,” said Siemian. “I forget what the number is but you have to have a certain amount of explosive plays a game to really be in that top tier of offenses in the league. It makes it easier on your offensive line and it makes it easier on your run game. I think we’ll get there. I think we’re all excited about what we can do in this scheme and we’re going to have a couple of those big ones this year I think.”
What is a big play? Siemian offered a benchmark for us to look for in Thursday’s matchup.
“We have the numbers,” said Siemian. “I think it’s over 15 pass play and 12 run plays or something like that.”
After last season, we’ll take a whole lot of those big plays in 2017.
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