CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Trevor Siemian stood in the front of reporters with a smirk and good health. His surgically-repaired left shoulder is healed. He continues throwing without limitations, and he holds no grudges.
Reporters asked Siemian multiple times if he felt insulted the Broncos opened the quarterback competition. After all, he went 8-6 last season with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. If you think he perceived this as a slight, you would be wrong.
"I think you learn pretty quickly, or at least I did, that you've got to earn it every year and every day in the league. That goes beyond me and Paxton. That is everybody. If you're not playing well, earning a spot, you are getting worse," Siemian said. "That is the reality of this thing."
Siemian knows he must improve. He earned a Pro Bowl alternate bid, yet guided an offense that finished fourth in three-and-outs, struggled in the red zone and went through a touchdown drought of Grapes of Wrath proportions down the stretch. Lynch knows he must make up ground. All the talk of an even derby matters little if he doesn't show growth. Teammates have told Denver7 they've seen more confidence in Lynch since he arrived for training two weeks early. Lynch looked and acted more like a starting quarterback Thursday than anytime last season.
It doesn't hurt that new coordinator Mike McCoy's offense should help draw out his athleticism.
"This week we have gone over the playbook (in the first of multiple installations) and it looks good," said Lynch, who went 1-1 as a rookie starter, but slogged through the season as he learned to drop back and work under center. "I am excited from the stuff he has told us. We are going to be taking (more) deeper shots. There will be more shotgun stuff. I am excited."
Siemian's decision to repair his shoulder appears validated. While no "gladiator" in the weight room, he is able to lift. He needs to add strength and muscle to increase his availability. It is a skill at the NFL level, with Siemian admitting he will employ the self-sack (fainting goat anyone?) if necessary to stay out of harm's way. With Tony Romo no longer under consideration, the Broncos are attempting to microwave the development of their young quarterbacks.
This, after all, is not a rebuild. It is a CTRL-ALT-DEL. New coach, same expectations.
"You relish that definitely. There are so many good things about this place. But to me, maybe, the coolest thing is that you are expected to compete for championships," Siemian said. "We didn't make the playoffs last year, and that was tough for us, tough for the coaches, tough for the front office, everybody. That is what you want -- those expectations to be there every year."