After weeks of prognostication and speculation, one of the biggest questions surrounding the Denver Broncos this offseason was answered in their 33-14 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night.
What’s the big question that’s answered you ask? Well that’s easy — we finally know who is going to be the team’s starting quarterback for this coming season. Much to the chagrin of Paxton Lynch fans everyone, Trevor Siemian has hands down won the quarterback battle and deserves to lead the offense on the gridiron this season. Period.
Anyone with an objective mind would reasonably conclude Siemian’s performance (8/11, 93 yards and a touchdown) against the 49ers was enough to earn him that honor. Additionally, it strongly suggests that Lynch, who had a lackluster 39 yards on 9 completions, just isn’t ready to be the leader of this franchise at this point in time. If you haven’t came to that conclusion yet, you probably should find a way to get there as soon as possible and embrace it.
Because in the storms to come, it’s Trevor Siemian’s time to shine — and it’s time for Lynch to sit back and continue to learn.
Truth be told, I have always felt that Siemian was under appreciated by many fans across Broncos Country. The expectations placed on Siemian, a former seventh round draft selection, were egregiously lofty. Yet in his second season, he was able to overcome the odds and achieve the improbable. He was able to beat out a much more physically talented quarterback (Lynch) in camp, as well as oust a seasoned NFL veteran in Mark Sanchez from making the team’s final roster.
Not too shabby for a inexperienced, late-round prospect out of Northwestern, right?
In many ways, the portrayal of his efforts and abilities last season were often insulting and disingenuous. Siemian’s production in his first season as a NFL starter was favorable, if not better than a handful of highly-touted and drafted quarterbacks to come into the league over the past decade. Yet, people still have the audacity to say he can’t improve as a player entering his third season, and state he has already reached his ceiling and potential.
It’s impossible to know the ceiling of a seventh round player who started 14 games and is on his second offense in two years.— Christopher Hart (@topherhart) August 20, 2017
That sort of logic is complete and utter bologna.
It’s laughable to declare with one-hundred percent certainty that Siemian has already reached his peak. We can’t know that for certain, and the history of the NFL at the position would certainly show otherwise. Football is the pinnacle of team games, and it’s quite safe to say that the team’s effort last year, especially on offense was severely lacking and inhibited the ability for either of the quarterbacks to succeed.
First and foremost, the 2016 Denver Broncos’ offensive line was atrocious. If you don’t think Siemian can improve with a better offensive line, you are kidding yourself. Second, the team struggled immensely running the football. Wouldn’t it be fair to say a more consistent run game would improve the overall efficacy of the offense? Furthermore, you can’t ignore the stark reality which was the horrendous lack of production at the slot receiver and tight end positions, which both ranked near the bottom of the league.
John Elway, newly-crowned Head Coach Vance Joseph and his coaching staff realized these issues and subsequently, spent a majority of their free agency and draft resources to help correct them. In reality, the Broncos offense has nowhere to go but up when compared to their disastrous output — and yes that includes Trevor.
In fact, it would be more apt to say that Siemian’s journey to reach his potential in this league is now just beginning. With an offense reloaded with talent at multiple positions, the entire prospect of a year with better production is much more realistic. It will take time for all the players to gel, learn and properly execute Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy’s system, but in time I am hopeful it can run like a fine-tuned machine, capable of scoring points to make the Broncos a playoff contender once more.
That being said, there are certainly justifiable criticisms of Siemian’s game to date. His penchant for the safe play and checking down when other options are available, his lack of elite arm strength and concerns about longevity and durability all have merit. But most certainly, he (like all players) have the ability to grow and develop as the year goes on. Some of his concerns aren’t correctable through coaching, but a lot of them most certainly are.
Let’s come together and support Siemian as the team’s starting quarterback. Let’s hope that he can grow into a player capable of making the Broncos a formidable offense to face week in and week out. Let’s not consider this season a waste because he has won the starting job, but as a new canvas of opportunity for him and his teammates.
It’s now Trevor Siemian’s time to shine as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Hopefully, he shines bright enough to help guide the team to the greatest of heights in 2017.