DENVER — Vance Joseph opened Broncos training camp with two-minute warning drills for his quarterbacks.
The new coach also opened camp with an Aug. 22 warning for quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
"It will be ideal to make a decision before the third preseason game," Joseph said.
He was referring to a resolution, result, ruling on who will be the Broncos’ starting quarterback for the regular-season opener on Sept. 11.
However, Joseph added this caveat: "It’s going to separate itself. Someone’s going to show that (he’s) the best man for our team. And when he does, I’ll call it off."
Thus, the possibility exists that Trevor or Paxton could be so impressive between now and then that "The Pronouncement" could be made prematurely and precipitously.
But the timetable will not be based on the wishes of wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, both of whom said they prefer sooner over later. Nobody should blame them, but nobody certainly can blame Joseph, who hasn’t seen either Trevor or Paxton in a live game, for choosing to wait.
Especially given that there will be many others involved in the process. It’s as there are more quarterback judges on the Broncos’ payroll than they have been judges in the history of American Idol.
There are four assistant coaches who have been offensive coordinators. Mike McCoy was the offensive coordinator here before become head coach with the Chargers. He has worked with more than a dozen starting quarterbacks in Carolina, Denver and San Diego. I’m sure he’s comparing these guys to those guys, although it’s rather difficult to put Siemian and Lynch up against, say, Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers.
And he probably can’t compare Tim Tebow to anyone else he’s ever coached.
Then, there’s Bill Musgrave, who was the Raiders’ offensive coordinator last year and coached a quality young quarterback in Derek Carr. And Musgrave once was a backup to a fairly good quarterback named John Elway.
Offensive line coach Jeff Davidson also played in front of Elway (as a left tackle) and was an offensive coordinator with the Panthers and the Browns. And tight ends coach George "Geep (Beep Beep)" Chryst was the offensive coordinator with the 49ers in 2015. One of his quarterbacks was a guy named Colin Kaepernick.
And, of course, the Broncos’ newly-named "president of football operations" is Elway himself.
The man who was head coach of the Broncos last season has just joined the Broncos for this season. Gary Kubiak coached Trevor and Paxton last year.
You think there are enough people who will aid Joseph, a former quarterback at the University of Colorado.
The rest of us in Broncos Kingdom will definitely try to sway Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat in determining the Broncos’ No. 1 quarterback.
The duel is officially on.
I have a sneaking suspicion, but don’t tell anyone else I told you this:
I think both quarterbacks could end up playing in most games.
Let’s just assume for the sake of discussion that Siemian is named the starting quarterback. What if he struggles in the first game against the Chargers and stinks up the No-Name Joint at Mile High? Lynch could be brought in during the fourth quarter to try to bail out the Broncos with his stronger arm and deeper passes.
Or what if the Broncos’ Board Of Coordinators opts to give Paxton a few reps in the second quarter to get him comfortable if Siemian is injured again – because he has been oft-injured in college and last year.
How about if the Broncos select Paxton as the starter and it doesn’t go so hot in the second game against Dallas? Trevor was known in college as a great comeback quarterback in the fourth quarter for Northwestern. The Broncos’ coaching cadre surely would consider switching quarterbacks in mid-game because we’re not talking about John Freaking Elway. Remember that the Broncos have been known to remove Manning at halftime (when he was hurt and scuffling against Kansas City) and Brock Osweiler against Mike McCoy and the Chargers in the final regular-season game two years ago.
Paxton and Trevor will do what’s ordered, and it’s likely that their talents can be utilized in different games at different times on different levels.
Both will play this season.
That’s a warning.