Kubiak decides Siemian will start, all will play

Third game takes on added importance in preseason
Posted at 1:26 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 16:45:06-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Broncos' quarterback depth chart remained the same Monday, a development favoring Trevor Siemian.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Siemian will start against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday and all three will play. He didn't list the order of when Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch will appear, explaining the quarterbacks will receive a similar amount of reps.

It puts Siemian, who is dealing with a slight right shoulder issue, in the slight lead to start the regular-season opener since the third game is considered a dress rehearsal. Couple that with the fact that Kubiak took blame for Siemian's critical interception in Saturday's loss to San Francisco, and it's easy to argue Seimian sits in the driver's seat. 

"I feel really good about a lot of things we are doing. They have done some good things, and all have made mistakes," Kubiak said. "I am proud of all three of them. They have been working hard. There's things they have to clean up. I knew this was going to take some time." 

Kubiak said he will decide next week on a regular-season starter before the final preseason game at Arizona. Kubiak refused to characterize Siemian as the leader, but the first-tream reps are telling, if not advantageous. 

A former seventh-round pick from Northwestern, Siemian made fewer mistakes than Sanchez last week, but his one gaffe proved crippling. He threw a pick six to 49ers safety Eric Reid, siphoning the energy out of the Broncos' home crowd. Siemian never recovered, failing to complete his next three passes. However, he is 17-for-26 for 163 yards in two games, and has shown a slow heart beat as a leader. Kubiak said he made a bad decision on the play call which led to Siemian's lone interception of the preseason. However, Reid jumped the route because Siemian hadn't shown a willingness to throw deep. Siemian led a touchdown drive in his first possession on Saturday, and played almost perfectly before his pick, according to Kubiak.

Sanchez vowed to bounce back after his two turnover-outing on Saturday, but recognized he might have "squandered his opportunity." The veteran has shown accuracy, completing 20 of 30 passes for 219 yards. And yet, he can't seem to run from his past, remaining haunted by turnovers. He has committed three in two weeks, losing two fumbles in the red zone against San Francisco.

Lynch continues to show why he was a first-round draft choice. Get him outside the pocket, and he's a creator. But he's still learning the offense. While he's taken to coaching, Lynch remains a work in progress with his footwork under center. He threw two touchdowns, albeit against second and third teamers, and an interception last week. If Lynch continues his rapid development, and is trusted as a backup it could mean that Sanchez goes from first team to off the team. 



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