CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- When the Broncos offense took the field in 11-on-11 drills, all eyes shifted to the center of the field. The quarterback derby requires constant attention, so Trevor Siemian taking the first snaps merited head turns.
The summer features an even number of workouts. Coach Vance Joseph outlined his plan for Siemian and Paxton Lynch, suggesting both will be given a fair shake.
"It’ll be day-by-day. Today it was Trevor’s turn to be with the first unit. Tomorrow it will be Paxton’s. It will be day-by-day," Joseph said. "There are 10 OTAs, so it will be five and five."
In the media's first extended snapshot of the offense, Siemian looked sharp. Lynch showed athleticism, but misfired a handful of times. Siemian trumped Mark Sanchez last summer in practice, showing he could take better care of the football. Lynch, while clearly improved, figures to use games to sway minds, as he's capable of taking off and running or coloring outside the lines with a long pass following a scramble.
Joseph is focusing on accuracy, decision-making and command of the huddle, among other elements, as he judges the pair.
There remains a narrative that only Lynch will benefit from Mike McCoy's offense. However, Siemian played in a spread attack at Northwestern. And he is already enjoying the freedom in play calling after audible selections were limited to one play a year ago. Siemian must improve after guiding an offense that ranked near the bottom in red zone touchdown percentage and third down conversions. But is not a bit premature to say he has reached his potential?
"If I get worse this next year coming up I probably won't be around very long," Siemian said. "I think I have a chance to be better. I think I have some things I can build on, and there are things where I have to improve especially during this time of the year."
Lynch no longer acts like the new kid in school. His personality continues to show through. As he enters his second season, everything is different. But will the result of the competition change?
"I feel a lot more confident just being around the guys and being around the locker room. I feel like I can go out here and cut it loose a little bit more compared to my first year," Lynch said Tuesday. "Last year, I kind of came in knowing that I was going to have a little bit of a setback just because of Mark's experience in the league and Trevor only having one year under his belt, but that rookie year is kind of a big year. You kind of learn everything and you go through everything. The second year, you come back and you try to get a little bit more comfortable with everybody. For me, it was just every day something new that I had to figure out compared to this year. I can kind of relax a little bit and just go out there and have fun."
Regardless of the quarterback, the Broncos require major steps forward upfront. The offensive line could feature three new starters. Joseph talked about using veterans Donald Stephenson and Menelik Watson at the tackle spots in the opening of OTAs. Stephenson, who lost and regained the left tackle spot last season, will have to hold off first-round pick Garrett Bolles. And Watson will have to prove he can stay healthy. Ron Leary figures to anchor the new refurbished line from his left guard position.
Rest, Rehab, Ready
The Broncos are not pushing running back Jamaal Charles (knee), Jake Butt (knee) and Matt Paradis (hips). All are taking progressive steps in rehab with an eye toward training camp. Charles and Paradis figure to be ready. Butt could face a longer recovery given when his knee injury occurred in Michigan's bowl game.
The Broncos practiced in a spirited fashion with multiple players remarking about the speed and energy of the workout. Linebacker Brandon Marshall and cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Chris Harris Jr. were among those making big plays. ... Receiver Emmanuel Sanders figures to benefit as much as anyone from the NFL's relaxing of their draconian celebration policies. "I can do something now without worrying about getting cussed out by the head coach," Sanders said. "If you don't know, being in the end zone is like starving for five days and walking into your house and finding a huge steak. That's how I feel when I score. It feels great." ... Kicker Brandon McManus has yet to sign his restricted free agent contract. He has not missed any offseason activity and remains hopeful something will be worked out before June 15. He maintains big goals for this season. Said McManus, "I want to be here everyday. I want the guys to see me. I want to be a captain on special teams." .... Rookie receiver Isaiah McKenzie continues to impress in punt return work. ... Joseph indicated that the defensive end position opposite of Derek Wolfe will be rotational. Jared Crick began OTAs as the starter, but Zach Kerr, Adam Gotsis and DeMarcus Walker will receive time. "It doesn't matter who the starter is because it will be by committee," Joseph said.