CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The NFL runs on the axiom that if you have two quarterbacks you have none. Broncos general manager John Elway remains bullish on his QBs, convinced competition between two will produce the best one.
He believes the Broncos sit in a better position than a year ago when Trevor Siemian eclipsed Mark Sanchez in training camp. It created a depth chart of Siemian and Paxton Lynch, who owned a combined one professional snap.
A year later, the names remain the same, but the derby is different. Lynch never threatened to win the job last summer, looking like a fish on a bicycle as he attempted to learn three-step and five-step drops and how to call plays in a huddle. If this spring's workouts have taught us anything it is that there will be a quarterback battle beginning the last week of July.
Lynch is more comfortable in the shotgun formations emphasized by new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. And Siemian should benefit from the additional freedom to audible at the line of scrimmage. Having two solid contenders is not a bad thing. Having the competition fail to produce a clear winner is.
The Broncos' uncertainty at quarterback clouds opinions of their team, despite the presence of a fang-baring defense. What must Siemian and Lynch do to win the job outright?
Joseph wants a quarterback who makes good decisions and takes care of the ball. Siemian showed progress in this regard last season in his 14 starts. However, can he take care of the ball and take chances? The Broncos need him to make more plays, using his feet while keeping his eyes downfield. He brings huddle presence, toughness and leadership. But he has to show he can produce significantly better in the red zone and on third down.
Lynch continues to show off his terrific arm on deep throws. It deserves praise. However, beating single-high safety coverage is not the pass that will define his development. He must become more adept at firing the ball into tight windows in the middle of the field. The NFL is about throwing guys open. About anticipating cuts and earning trust of receivers. Lynch also must continue to develop his presence in the huddle. That should occur with more reps in the new offense. Lynch can do things athletically that Siemian can't. However, he must let his athleticism show out without compromising the defense with turnovers.
Sanchez squandered the job because of interceptions in practice a year ago. The defense will likely decide the Broncos' quarterback again. There are two legitimate contenders. For the Broncos to rebound, they need a clear winner.