CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Broncos should not bother with a quarterback derby. It should be a one-horse race.
At least that's the opinion of former NFL coach Rex Ryan. Appearing Thursday on 104.3 The Fan with Mike Evans and Mark Schlereth, Ryan weighed in on the Broncos' quarterback competition. Let's just say, he prefers the tall guy.
"I will say this, I don't know why they don't go with (Paxton) Lynch. It makes no sense. They drafted the guy for a reason. He's not going to get better by sitting there. So put him in there," said Ryan, who was fired by the Bills last season. "Obviously from that kid's perspective, he has to protect the football and not be careless with it. You are not Brett Favre. So go in and do your job. If a guy is open, get him the ball. If he's not, run. The kid's an athlete. Run or get rid of it. Don't ever take the risk of putting your team in jeopardy. That's the only way you are not going to win in Denver because they have too good of a defense. The other kid is a journeyman. You made an investment in Lynch. You have to go with him."
Lynch went 1-1 as a rookie starter last season, looking overwhelmed as he transitioned from a college spread offense to working under center and in a huddle. Lynch arrived for offseason workouts two weeks early to get acclimated to the altitude and has been diligent in his preparation this month. The former Memphis star believes he can win the job, citing, in part, the use of more shotgun formations under new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
Siemian has been trailed by doubters since he was drafted in the seventh round. He, too, believes he can claim the No. 1 spot. Why wouldn't he? He won the job last summer, beating out veteran Mark Sanchez. Siemian went 8-6 as a starter, was named an offensive captain at midseason, and earned teammates' respect with his toughness.
"I thought Trevor had a great year last year. He definitely had some ups and downs, but the dude played injured a lot. He took a lot of hits. For him to get back up and do what he did, we see a lot of promise in him," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said this week. "With Paxton, it's going to be a huge year for him. Mike McCoy's offense will help him a lot more, through his play style."
Ryan told The Fan he misses coaching. He forged a reputation as a strong defensive coordinator, creating strong bonds with his players. However, he struggled to win as a head coach, going 61-66. He lamented never having a franchise quarterback in a "quarterback-driven league."