Has Trevor Siemian earned right to be Bron­cos’ start­ing quar­ter­back in 2017?

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Kiz: Kiz: Kiz: Jhab­vala: Jhab­vala:

This Bron­cos sea­son can be summed up in two words: Bum­mer, man. The most pleas­ant sur­prise, how­ever, has been Trevor Siemian. He was a steal in the sev­enth round of the 2015 draft. And he’s al­ready bet­ter (not to men­tion cheaper) than Brock Osweiler. There’s about an 80 per­cent chance the Bron­cos miss the play­offs, but have they found their QB of the fu­ture?

Agree that he was steal, though I’m a lit­tle sur­prised to hear you ut­ter those words. The prob­lem for Siemian is he didn’t — and maybe still doesn’t — fit the nar­ra­tive of fans. He’s a sev­enth-rounder from North­west­ern. But he’s con­tin­u­ing to im­prove in this of­fense, which is no small feat given the state of the of­fen­sive line and the lack of a run game.

Siemian throws a sweet deep pass out­side the num­bers, which gives re­ceivers De­mary­ius Thomas and Em­manuel San­ders a real chance to make one or two ex­plo­sive plays ev­ery game. That’s cool. But this is also true: In the pocket, Siemian holds the foot­ball far too long. He’s un­com­fort­able read­ing de­fen­sive traf­fic in the mid­dle of the field. Those two flaws make Siemian a li­a­bil­ity in the red zone. And New Eng­land ex­posed his weak­nesses for all to see.

New Eng­land ex­posed his weak­ness the most. Siemian has made his share of mis­takes, few big­ger than that in­ter­cep­tion in the sec­ond quar­ter on Sun­day. Hold­ing onto the ball and drift­ing be­hind the line is typ­i­cal of younger quar­ter­backs but cer­tainly fix­able. But look at the num­bers: He has av­er­aged 300.2 yards in his last six starts, with eight touch­downs and five in­ter­cep­tions. And Thomas and San­ders have topped 1,000 re­ceiv­ing yards again. Just think what they could do with a lit­tle more pro­tec­tion and a run game.

Gen­eral man­ager John El­way knows the only way the Bron­cos are re­ally go­ing to find out if Pax­ton Lynch can play is to put him in the game and let him learn. So it would be folly for coach Gary Ku­biak to hand Siemian the start­ing job in 2017. I’ll take it one step fur­ther: If Lynch isn’t ready to com­pete next sea­son, then the Bron­cos need to ex­plore ev­ery av­enue and ev­ery crazy idea in search of a vet­eran QB, from Philip Rivers to Tony Romo. Jhab­vala: I dis­agree com­pletely. Why would you play a younger quar­ter­back just to play him? If Siemian is the bet­ter quar­ter­back, he should play. Siemian should start, but fix­ing the of­fen­sive line should be the top off­sea­son pri­or­ity. If you com­pletely dis­re­gard the salary cap (and I don’t know how you pos­si­bly can), Romo sounds like a nice idea. But he had the best of­fen­sive line in foot­ball in Dal­las, and he still kept get­ting hurt. What makes you think he’d sur­vive be­hind the Bron­cos’ line?

Bron­cos quar­ter­back Trevor Siemian drops back in the first quar­ter of Den­ver’s 16-3 home loss to the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots on Sun­day. He­len H. Richard­son, The Den­ver Post

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