CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Even fake games can create real impressions.
Vance Joseph dismissed idea he has decided on a starting quarterback, pointing to Saturday's scrimmage as the next key step in the evaluation. Trevor Siemian played well Thursday, exhibiting sharpness lacking in some of the previous seven days. Paxton Lynch showed flashes, but made mistakes. For those keeping score at home -- you know who you are -- my tablet reads: Siemian 3 wins, Lynch 2, and two draws. The lack of separation places more emphasis on the scrimmage and, perhaps most importantly, the first two preseason games at Chicago, a week from today, and at San Francisco.
"It's training camp," Joseph said. "There are going to be ups and downs. Nobody has been told they're the starter."
The quarterbacks experienced less of a mixed bag Thursday, making better decisions with the ball. Neither quarterback threw an interception during team period. Siemian connected on a touchdown pass, while Lynch did not.
Joseph offered a glimpse into his decision-making process when discussing both quarterbacks Thursday.
"I think Trevor has been solid. He hasn't done a lot of huge error stuff I should say. He's been Trevor," Joseph said of Siemian, who went 8-6 last season as a first-year starter. "He's been consistent."
Joseph told me Siemian need not change his who he is. The external narrative developing is that he needs to be more outgoing, bold.
"It's not based on his personality. He's making the reads and and the ball goes there. I never talked to him about his personality," Joseph said. "He is playing the position, calling the plays, making the reads and (knowing) where the ball should go and that's where it goes."
Lynch continues to display striking athleticism. He has a big arm, and gains yards with his feet. Consistency, however, has been elusive over the first week of camp. Joseph stressed he has no problem with Lynch pulling the ball down and taking off, even in 7-on-7 drills.
"We want Paxton to have as many natural reps as possible, so when he takes off and runs I like it," Joseph said. "I don't want him to sit back there and make a bad decision. His deal right now is to put good plays together back-to-back. That's what we want from Paxton right now. You can see his playmaking ability. He can scramble. We want more plays being made back-to-back."
The plan for Saturday's scrimmage calls for Siemian and Lynch to split 24 total reps between the first and second-teams. Thus six plays apiece with starters and six plays each with the twos.
At a fan forum Thursday, president of football operations John Elway said Joseph will make the choice on the quarterback. Elway, however, believes the offensive line, in particular, has improved which will help the offense regardless of who is under center.
"The thing I have been happy with about camp is our offensive line play. It's gotten a lot better and a lot more physical," Elway said. "If you compete up front it's going to make it a lot easier for those guys. And we still have a lot of time left. Until we get into games we don't know what kind of steps we've made and what we have.