Good morning, Broncos Country!
An MHR reader recently reminded me of a Donald Rumsfeld quote that has some interesting relevance to our current state of all things quarterback:
"There are knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."
So what could be more fun than dissecting and applying a Rumsfeld quote to the Broncos? It's Friday after all, and I like a good challenge, so let's Rumsidize this QB circus and have some fun:
There are lots of things we know when it comes to our quarterback, the main one being that while he does not necessarily need to be the best player on the field (though, we won't turn that quality down), he needs to be a leader.
Leadership can come in many forms and does not always mean the most vocal guy in the locker room or certainly the most talented, but it absolutely should be the one most dedicated to setting the standard for work ethic.
The Broncos locker room had that guy in its starter and backup the past four years, and whether Broncos fans are sold on the idea or not, we have that leader again in Mark Sanchez.
All summer 16 we workin!!! #BroncosUP pic.twitter.com/QqSi6olnx7— Bennie Fowler (@b_fowler13) April 6, 2016
Yes, I'm going on record voicing my support for him as starting QB. John Elway will probably sign Colin Kaepernick this afternoon just because I said that (so for all the Kap supporters, you're welcome), but I really like what I've seen from Sanchez so far the way he is handling his opportunity. He is taking Elway's directive that he "will compete for starting QB" to mean that it is his starting job to lose, and I love that mentality in my quarterback.
Sanchez told Denver Post's Troy Renck on Wednesday that he's not concerned one bit what the Broncos are doing to look for other quarterbacks.
"Listen, I don't care who is there, what is going on right now. They are going to give me a fair shake, that's all I can ask for, a fair shot. I am good. Let's go. I will bet on myself and compete my butt off," Sanchez said.
Organizing a passing camp in the southern backyard of his possible future competition - and even bringing in his current backup quarterback - Sanchez is proving strong self-confidence, leadership and competitive fire.
I love it.
Just might go buy me an orange Sanchez jersey to prove it.
The known unknowns:
This could apply to any of our potential QB prospects right now, but it definitely fits Siemian. We know the second-year quarterback showed some promise last year in his very limited playing time during scrimmages and preseason games, but we also know those opportunities were not against top-tier players.
We hope he watched Manning very carefully and learned a few things from The Sheriff. We also hope he learned from Oz how to emulate a Hall-of-Famer by prepping even when the consummate backup.
And hopefully his presence this week with Sanchez and most of Denver's wide receiver corps will only improve his game even before this summer's training camp.
When a proposed $4.9M pay cut is actually a lot less than $4.9M due to state taxes (h/t @SportsTaxMan).https://t.co/lNNNlhUXEP— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) April 7, 2016
But Kaepernick is also a bit of known unknown - mostly because we have no idea if he'll be playing for Denver or San Francisco but also because we don't know if we would get the agile and dangerous Super Bowl-contending quarterback or if we would get the injured, sulking, benched version.
It's a moot point to discuss it much until a deal is done, but even if it is, Kap-as-a-QB-threat is no guarantee.
The unknown unknowns:
This is definitely a draft quarterback, whoever that may be. While there is plenty of information to gather from college game film, bowl games, pro days, private visits and interviews, these guys are still one giant guess.
How will they survive NFL defenses? Can they learn a more complex offensive scheme? Can they handle the pro football life?
Gary Kubiak said yesterday that the Broncos will be looking to the draft to add to their quarterback roster - whether it's to compete as a starter or just add depth now to be developed for later is also an unknown.
.@PaxtonLynch LAUNCHED this perfectly placed deep ball at his pro day.— NFL (@NFL) April 6, 2016
"That's a showoff throw right there." https://t.co/tPDhcIbtKt
And which young QB falls to the Broncos is anyone's guess. Connor Cook? Dak Prescott? Carson Wentz? (OK, not happening) Paxton Lynch?
I have no idea, but I'm going to hang my hat on Lynch if for no other reason than he helped turn around a dismal University of Memphis team during his time there.
And when I say dismal, I know what I'm talking about because my dad - a longtime administrator/professor at Memphis and season ticket holder - has sat with my mom through many, many bad games since 1988 (though there was one major bright spot when the Tigers upset Manning and his Vols in 1996, causing a tiny bit of family tension as my brother was at UT, but I digress)...
Memphis football was dismal, that is, until Lynch came to town.
"Paxton Lynch was the leader that put Memphis football back on track," says Dan Lattimore, who is not an NFL scout but has endured many bad and some very good football games. "Lynch ran an explosive offense that was exciting to watch. He is an accurate passer who can throw the ball deep, short over the middle, or hit the quick wideout. His speed is deceiving; he ran the ball well with long strides, not only to get away from the rush, but often as designed plays."
Just in case my father is not the source you need for this, the overall take on Lynch from pro scouts is that he has incredible arm strength, great size and above-average athleticism. The downside is his need to develop for a year, but I don't see a rookie being named the starter of the defending Super Bowl champs, so he'll get his year in Denver.
No matter how this quarterback situation plays itself out, it's going to make for a very interesting offseason, full of all kinds of unknowns.
And no matter who is at the helm, we can always fall back on this Rumsfeld gem:
"You go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."
Time to go to war in a few short months. Bring it on.
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