DENVER -- The reality ambushes Terrell Davis. He goes to sign his signature, and realizes he can pen an HOF by his name. A gold jacket arrives at his home. A bust goes from "something that kind of looks like me to something identical that they said will last 40,000 years."
Davis will enter Canton in August, immortalized for his work with the Broncos. Davis knows greatness, and, as a member of the media with NFL Network, remains well-versed on the modern NFL. One question hovers over the Broncos like a drone as training camp beckons. Who will be the starting quarterback? Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch?
"Hey I believe in Trevor, man," said Davis in an exclusive interview Friday with Denver7 from the American Century championship golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. "What I saw in a few games last year. ... Remember, people don’t realize that the man only played one season, and he really wasn’t expected to play last year. I think it’s invaluable he got those game reps, and it’s going to help him out tremendously this year.”
Davis attended a Broncos' mini-camp practice in the offseason. He will return to training camp on July 30. He knows all about the derby at the most important position, and recognizes the answer might involve both quarterbacks playing.
"Again, I still think it’s probably Trevor Siemian’s job. I imagine Paxton Lynch probably has a bigger upside. Obviously, he seems to be a talented arm, and he has all the tangibles. Just the mental part of game is starting to come along," said Davis, before elaborating. "Listen, if Trevor plays well they will keep him there, and I think there’s no rush to put in Paxton Lynch. If Trevor struggles and Paxton comes in, once he does I think the job is his because I think they want to groom him and allow him to have some real game situations because they know that’s future."
The reality of the quarterback question is that it provides only part of the solution to improvement, according to Davis. The Broncos missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons because their ground game became three-yards and a cloud of rust. Davis sees a rebound with the current running backs, praising the stable assembled.
"I like the diversity of the backs they have. If Jamaal Charles can give you anything and he's healthy, I like his ability to explode. He has the home run ability," Davis said. "C.J. Anderson, he is a mudder. He will grind it out. I like his running style. He's coming at you. I think (Devontae) Booker hit the wall last season. Coming in as a rookie, sometimes it's not what you think. Hopefully, he's healthy. They have three quality backs. I told them when I was out there that this is a team that needs to lead physically upfront to help the defense."
The Broncos went 9-7 a year ago, a disappointing finish after a 4-0 start following their Super Bowl 50 title. New coach Vance Joseph has promised a reboot, energized by the talent in the locker room. A rebound is not guaranteed given the strength of the schedule and the AFC West. Yet, Davis believes the Broncos will return to the playoffs.
"Absolutely. I know everybody is saying the Raiders are the team to beat in that division. I have to see them put together two solid seasons. Kansas City will always be there. And the L.A. Chargers will be better. I think it's the toughest division in football," Davis said. "But anytime you have a defense like Denver's, you always have a chance. And I really think their offense is going to be much improved."