Think back. It feels like a lifetime ago, but the Denver Broncos were practically fitting Colin Kaepernick for his shoulder pads. He was going to be the starting quarterback, and John Elway had his man, if the price was right. Apparently, it wasn’t.
This is not an indictment on whether or not John Elway needs to sign Kaepernick. Never going to happen, so it is not worth discussing. However, the biggest issue in Denver over the offseason has been the competition between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch to take over as the Broncos signal caller.
The Mile High Report Radio podcast came to a consensus over a year ago that Lynch needed to be named the starter. That is not what happened in 2016, or now, in 2017. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the most recent MHR Radio Podcast, Denver has botched this since before Lynch became a Bronco.
This isn't difficult. Paxton is slow to process, struggles to come off his first read; & Siemian is a tools-limited play-it-safe QB.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 20, 2017
There is no point in arguing about who should start now. Apparently, that decision is permanent. However, to observe how Elway and the Broncos have gone about finding the heir to the Manning throne has been difficult. Lest we forget that Brock Osweiler was once the future king.
This feels more like fear than anything else. The Broncos have been one of the most successful franchises in sports over the last 35 years. While regular season wins have been commonplace, winning championships has been more difficult. Winning Super Bowls is hard. If anyone knows that, it’s Elway.
What he should also know, and what seems to be missing here, is what it is like to become an NFL quarterback. The franchise that stuck with him through his immense learning curve has seemingly run away from the prospect of needing to develop a young quarterback. And the excuse for not going with Lynch now? He lacks experience.
Vance Joseph said this is a “permanent decision” with going with Trevor Siemian as the starter.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) August 21, 2017
Holding a clipboard sure seems like a way for a young quarterback to gain experience. There is no doubt that Lynch struggled in the preseason. He was unable to come off his first read, struggled with timing, and looked easily harassed into tucking the ball and running. All issues that go away with experience. Experience he is unlikely to gain in 2017.
Vance Joseph on Paxton Lynch: pic.twitter.com/TbbHWvR0xD— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 21, 2017
Calling him a bust now is just plain moronic. How can anyone pass judgement on a player that has seen the field for such a short time. No one knows what Lynch is, as he has yet to be given a true chance to show what he can do. Everyone knows what Siemian brings to the table. He plays like a career backup. Some fans want to call him a poor man’s Tom Brady. Unfortunately, he is a less mobile Alex Smith.
But, he is the safe play. The Broncos could slide into the last playoff spot with Siemian under center. If nothing else, that 8-8 or 9-7 season seems to be well within reach in Denver. All the while, a first round draft pick lacking experience will continue to sit on the sidelines and gain none.