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Knowns, unknowns of the Broncos' QB situation

We don't know exactly what we have yet in Trevor Siemian or what we might get if Colin Kaepernick comes to town, and we have no idea what we'll get out of any drafted rookie quarterback. But we do know a lot so far about what we will get from Mark Sanchez - a fighter.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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:

The knowns:

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.

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.

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.  -Mark Sanchez to the Denver Post

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.

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.

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. Lynch ran an explosive offense that was exciting to watch.  -Dan Lattimore (the original Dr. Lattimore, huge Memphis Tigers fan, not an NFL scout)

"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.

Horse Tracks

QB lowdown: On Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch, Browns, more -
Looking to draft a QB? Daniel Jeremiah has some vital information -- including what makes Paxton Lynch so tantalizing and why Josh Woodrum is generating tons of buzz as a late-round sleeper.

State taxes leave Broncos, 49ers millions closer on Kap's contract | CSN Bay Area
The proposed pay cut the Broncos have asked Colin Kaepernick to accept this season might not be as dramatic as it first appears thanks to California's 13.3 percent state income tax compared to Colorado's 4.63 percent income tax.

Broncos' Kubiak says he also met with Kaepernick -
Broncos GM John Elway wasn't the only member of the team to meet with 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Coach Gary Kubiak revealed Thursday that he also sat down with the potential trade target.

Blanket Coverage: Elway’s hubris may doom Broncos’ QB search |
What’s with John Elway’s dismissive treatment of his quarterbacks in recent years? The Broncos could lose out on Colin Kaepernick as a result.

Conflicting reports about Broncos' interest in Johnny Manziel | Mile High Sports
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak had spoken with Johnny Manziel as "a potential fit for the team down the line, according to two sources connected to the team." Others, though, have quickly rebutted the speculation that the Broncos have any interest in signing Johnny Football.

Gary Kubiak keeps endorsing his QBs even as others are linked to team
The Broncos are doing their due diligence on just about every quarterback available. But don't expect them to add one unless it's on their terms.

Report: The Broncos may be interested in Tyrod Taylor | Mile High Sports
According to Mile High Sports Radio's own, Benjamin Allbright, the Denver Broncos have made shown interest in acquiring Tyrod Taylor away from the Buffalo Bills.

Noting the Broncos' 2016 preseason opponents
Chicago is an apt place to begin the post-Manning era of Broncos football.

Report: Peyton Manning consulted with John Madden about future role | ProFootballTalk
Retired Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has no shortage of offers to sift through, and he's famous for being thorough and prepared for any decision he has to make — on or off the field.

Broncos add long snapper Casey Kreiter
The Iowa product snapped the last two offseasons and preseasons with the Cowboys.

Vontaze Burfict, DeAngelo Williams continue Bengals-Steelers feud on social media
The war of words between Vontaze Burfict and the Steelers continued Wednesday as the Bengals LB threatened Pittsburgh RB DeAngelo Williams on Twitter.

Blake Bortles talks about his preparations for 2016 | ProFootballTalk
Last year, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles quietly had a better season than any quarterback in franchise history, throwing for more than 4,400 yards and 35 touchdown passes. This year, he could be even better.

Ozzie Newsome: Ravens' recent drafts not up to par -
GM Ozzie Newsome concedes recent draft classes haven't measured up to the Ravens' lofty standards. Have Newsome and assistant GM Eric DeCosta lost their golden touch?

Roster Reset: Can any team catch the Patriots? -
It's difficult to build a compelling case -- barring a reinstatement of Brady's Deflategate suspension -- that this is the year the Pats finally falter. But can any other team win the AFC East?

Eight games to watch this preseason -
While Osweiler attempts to make his mark in Houston, the Broncos will begin life after Peyton & Brock against the Bears and former Denver coach John Fox.

Bonus Reads:

*editor's note: these are not about football, proceed with caution.

Fabian Cancellara: There's not one part of me that doesn't want to retire - Cycling Weekly
Fabian Cancellara says it was hard to say goodbye to the Tour of Flanders and thinks it will be harder to bid farewell to Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

Oklahoma gymnastics advances to NCAAs with Iowa City regional win |
For the seventh straight season, the No. 1 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team is ranked No. 1 heading to Nationals April 15-16. This is important because the OU coach is a former college teammate of docllv's.

Is It Really, Finally The Cubs’ Year? | FiveThirtyEight
Do we buy the hype about this team's potential to end the franchise's 108-year championship drought? Yes. Always believe.

Soccer Hamstring Injuries Are Up, But Preventing Them Is Complicated | FiveThirtyEight
OK, I know this is a football blog, not futbol...but given the number of hamstring issues various Broncos have had, it seemed like it could be useful. And frankly, that'd be a welcome change from much of the drivel that is football news these days.