Broncos players becoming convinced it will take games to decide QB derby

Posted at 5:59 PM, Aug 02, 2017

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Before Trevor Siemian failed to complete a pass in the first two team periods and fired an interception to Brandon Marshall, before Paxton Lynch zipped a fourth down pass into cornerback Aqib Talib's stomach, I wondered if a change was needed.

Is it time for the No. 1 offense to work against the No. 2 defense to gain confidence? There's no public discussion of making a change, but after six days it's fair to wonder if the competition is becoming counterproductive. 

One thing is clear in talking to multiple players off camera for Denver7: The games are the thing. With both quarterbacks dealing with a mixed bag of results, they need a new opponent to create separation. Bring on the Chicago Bears. Hello, dual practices with the San Francisco 49ers. Those will become the midterms for these quarterbacks. The grades in these settings should, and likely will, carry more weight. 

After six days, here is my scorecard (did I mention the games will be more important? OK, good). Siemian 2, Lynch 2, 2 draws. It leaves Siemian with a slight edge because he played so well Saturday, and he finished strong Wednesday in 7-on-7 drills and ended his outing with connections to receiver Jordan Taylor. 

Time for him Fly

While the defense continues to make life difficult for the quarterbacks, the receivers believe they are getting better from the daily tests. Emmanuel Sanders, who put a gym in his house to work out and changed to a healthier diet, continues to excel. Not a day goes by that he is not sparring with the defensive backs. 

"Every training camp, it's me and Talib, and me and Chris (Harris Jr.). We always go at it. That's the 'No Fly Zone,' and I've got a private jet," said Sanders. "I am trying to fly. Sometimes they blow my plane out of the sky and sometimes I fly good. I look down on them like, 'Hey, I'm flying up here, y'all can't stop me.' That's the beauty. Those two are All-Pro cornerbacks and I am blessed to go up against them every day." 


Starting right guard Ron Leary sat out with a groin injury. He might practice Thursday. Billy Turner worked in his place on the first team for most of the practice. ... Left tackle Garett Bolles received plenty of run with the first-teamers. Donald Stephenson is also getting reps on the left side with Ty Sambrailo switching to the right. Sambrailo, lacking confidence it appears, remains in a fight to make the team. ... Running back De'Angelo Henderson and Stevan Ridley continue to impress. Henderson runs downhill and Ridley is performing with urgency. It will be interesting to see if Ridley gets into a groove if he becomes a threat to Jamaal Charles' position. Again, it's early. Charles, for his part, began work on 7-on-7 drills, showing burst on some passing plays. ... Center Matt Paradis remains bullish on this offense: "We are going to score a lot of points." He is impressed with Bolles, even if the rookie works too hard at times. "He's flying around. I don't know if you saw the pick six when he sprinted all the way to the end zone. A rookie move." ... Tight end Jeff Heuerman is quietly enjoying a strong camp. After two lost seasons, he needs to translate it to the games, but the former Ohio State standout is off to a good start. ... Connor McGovern's physical style and versatility are turning heads. He can play center and guard, useful on game days with minimal active roster spots. ... Receiver Kalif Raymond faces an uphill battle to make the roster following the drafting of Isaiah McKenzie. However, he is demonstrating NFL speed in the return game, and running sharp routes. If he's not here, he could be with another team with the way he's performing in practice. ... Von Miller likes the idea of Bolles calling him the Chinese dragon. It's an compliment on the way Miller bends his body. "If you look at it, that's what any great pass rusher tries to be. You try to be predictable and still have force and movement at the same time."