For the past two years, the Denver Broncos have gotten very little production from the quarterback position. Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian all went through their struggles, causing the offense to sputter.
The Broncos hope that changes this season with yet another competition at quarterback. Siemian will be joined by Paxton Lynch in training camp as both players vie for the starting job. Neither is likely to make the Pro Bowl or be the driving force behind a Super Bowl run, but getting consistent play from that position is a must.
Deciding who will start will be difficult for first-year head coach Vance Joseph, but one particular trait will stand out above the rest.
“I’d say decision-making is going to be a major factor in who wins the job,” Joseph said, via MMQB. “That’s the position in the NFL – the guy who makes great decisions with the football, not turning the football over, and the guy who lets his teammates play for him, that’s the guy I want to lead our football team. Obviously, ball placement in the pass game, the ability to get us into the best play, those things are important. But it comes down to decision-making – that’s the biggest factor in this decision I’m going to make.”
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Siemian did a decent job protecting the football last season, but 10 interceptions in 14 games won’t cut it with Lynch hot on his heels. In his last season at Memphis, Lynch made great decisions, throwing just four interceptions with 28 touchdown passes.
Obviously, it’ll be near-impossible for him to keep up that sort of pace in the NFL, but he does have the tools to be a franchise quarterback. Siemian, on the other hand, is known as more of a game manager. And if he’s going to embrace that role, he’s going to need to do a much better job of taking care of the football.
The Broncos can’t afford to have a quarterback who turns it over 15 to 20 times in a season, especially with their dominant defense. They need a player who can simply keep them in games and let the defense put them in position to win with short fields and defensive scores.
Joseph, being a defensive-minded coach, fully understands that, and it’ll play a big factor in who he picks to start this season.