After Monday’s practice, Denver Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett met with 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis and told him that quarterback Brett Rypien will get the start vs. the Vikings in the preseason finale.
Brett Rypien: “… That's the only thing that I'm thinking of, is how can I somehow get better this week and go out there and play like it's my last game ever. And really, that's the mentality I think that you take into every single day.” pic.twitter.com/ynrAiS1YNC— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 24, 2022
Well, today Hackett was asked about that decision and he told reporters that Rypien has earned the opportunity to get the start and first half vs. the Vikings. He also said that he is looking for consistency from both of them and that they want to make sure that “the guys that deserve that opportunity get it.”.
“I think both of those guys have done a good job. I think ‘Ryp’ (QB Brett Rypien) has earned an opportunity to be able to go the first half. I think he had a really good game last week. He’s improved, and again, we’re looking for consistency from that position. It’s not saying that [QB] Josh [Johnson] hasn’t done good because he has done a fine job. We just want to be sure that we get both those guys because they have been working so hard and pushing each other. Their competition is a great one. We want to make sure that the guys that deserve that opportunity get it.”
As we know, Rypien played well in the second half of the blowout loss vs. the Buffalo Bills. In that game, he completed 22 of 26 passes for 191 yards and had the lone Broncos touchdown in that game. That score came on a red zone pass to tight end Eric Saubert late in the fourth quarter.
The key thing to take away from Hackett’s comment was that they are looking for consistency from the quarterbacks. Veteran Josh Johnson had a two-touchdown performance against the Cowboys but could not get in the end zone vs. the Bills. Meanwhile, Rypien had an up and down performance against the Cowboys that included a failed red zone period by the offense but did look good and score in the red zone vs. the Bills. So, neither has been overly consistent so hopefully, we see some consistency from both on Saturday against the Vikings.
I still think this is Josh Johnson’s battle to lose after he received the first two starts of the preseason and was signed by the current Broncos coaches and staff. However, the gap doesn’t appear to be big and a great performance by Rypien could force the Broncos to either keep both or decide to choose Rypien over Johnson.