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Is it smart to bench your young QBs?

Many believe a year on the bench helps young quarterbacks get used to the speed of the game. Others think baptism by fire is the best way to get experience.

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Draft guru Matt Miller talked to NFL scouts this week about Paxton Lynch and his readiness to possibly start for the Broncos this season. And while the jury that matters is still out [coach’s decision], the scouts believe whole-heartedly that a year on the bench was necessary for Lynch.

“He just wasn't ready coming out of college, especially for [Gary] Kubiak’s offense. He needs to be in the gun and clear to see the field. Can't be under center running that Kubiak scheme.”

A Broncos teammate, who wanted to remain anonymous, acknowledged that Lynch has the better deep ball but it is other things he needs to improve.

“He has to become a leader and get smarter. Trevor [Siemian] has that over him right now."

So now, Broncos Country, a challenge for you.

Rather than reading those quotes and digging your heels in to bolster whichever quarterback you think is more likely to be the starter - Siemian or Lynch - consider them more in the context of an interesting viewpoint from Andy Benoit in the MMQB last month.

Benoit believes it’s no good for teams to sit their young waiting-in-the-wings starters for a year or two while “preparing” them to take over.

For one thing, it’s just not happening with success to follow. Since 2006, no team that drafted a quarterback in the first two rounds sat him his entire rookie season and then saw him become a long-term franchise quarterback.

But Benoit argues that the real travesty for young NFL quarterbacks stems from the reduced practice time negotiated in the latest CBA [2011], which puts the backup quarterback at a particularly huge disadvantage.

After all, it’s his reps that disappear when practice time is cut short.

“There’s barely enough time for the first-teamers to practice. Which means the only way to evaluate a QB and let him learn kinetically is to put him with your first team. And voila! There’s your new starting quarterback,” Benoit wrote.

And Benoit points out that eventually something has to give. As the NFL game and college game drift apart “stylistically,” incoming quarterbacks are less prepared as it is (and for the record, I am all for changing CBA to add more practice time to help all the college guys get assimilated into the pro game better).

Because that practice time is gold.

“With fewer chances for them to practice, young quarterbacks must continue to learn under the fire of live games.”

Brock Osweiler’s story certainly fits this narrative.

As our second-round draft pick in 2012, Oz rode the bench for four years behind Peyton Manning (for obvious reasons). But when his chance came to lead his own team, it ended rather abysmally. All that film prep and playbook study and second-team reps carried him only so far.

So the Broncos possibly have a dilemma ahead - If Lynch doesn’t emerge as the clear leader in training camp but does prove to have a higher ceiling, are live game reps the best answer for his learning curve and the Broncos’ season?

I won’t pretend to answer that question as I believe the choice for starting QB rests solely on the coaches.

But I do think Benoit’s point has merit for consideration.

[or perhaps we should just go with “Rock, Paper, Scissors” on the QB and call it a day ;) ]

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What is the right approach with young quarterbacks?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Baptism by fire, baby!
    (81 votes)
  • 28%
    Franchise QBs can develop with a year or two on the bench
    (114 votes)
  • 28%
    The real problem is the increasing difference between the college and pro games, so QBs aren’t coming in prepared.
    (112 votes)
  • 7%
    j-mac31 (some of the above)
    (29 votes)
  • 1%
    SaguaroBronco (disagree with poll premise)
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    Shasta (better idea)
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    FrenchFred (none of the above)
    (5 votes)
  • 10%
    docllv ("not ANOTHER quarterback story!)
    (40 votes)
398 votes total Vote Now