No clear-cut No. 1 QB for Broncos |

No clear-cut No. 1 QB for Broncos

Michael Kelly
Associated Press
Denver Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez, front, joins strong safety T.J. Ward in signing autographs for fans following the team's NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos knew Peyton Manning was the unquestioned starter entering the last four training camps.

A week into this year’s camp, the reigning Super Bowl champions haven’t named a No. 1 guy, and the battle to be the starter will likely continue at least through the first preseason game at Chicago on Aug. 11.

Mark Sanchez hasn’t put distance between himself and Trevor Siemian and rookie Paxton Lynch. All three have been inconsistent, following good stretches with some poor play.

“They’re all doing good stuff and then there’s struggles at times,” coach Gary Kubiak said after Thursday morning’s practice. “It’s very, very competitive. I want to put a number of throws on each one of them (against the Bears). That’s going to have a lot to do with a decision.”

Denver’s quarterback situation took a hit in the spring when Manning’s backup, Brock Osweiler, signed with Houston after Manning retired. The Broncos traded for Sanchez later in the spring and took Lynch with the 26th pick in the draft.

Siemian was the third-string quarterback for Denver last season. He was active for six games as Osweiler’s backup while Manning was hurt and got into one game.

Sanchez was brought in to stabilize the position but he has not played well enough in training camp to be named the clear-cut starter.

“You have to earn everything you receive in this league,” said Sanchez, who is entering his ninth NFL season.

Sanchez has tried to develop chemistry with his receiving corps. He hosted them for workouts in Southern California after he came to the Broncos, and he has tried to keep that going in camp.

Sanchez has had good stretches but has been prone to bad throws. Siemian hasn’t built on his strong play during OTAs and Lynch has looked like a rookie, especially during Wednesday’s practice.

“(It) looked like some of the practices he’s had — kind of up and down,” Kubiak said.

Lynch wasn’t the only one who struggled Wednesday. Sanchez and Siemian were also subpar, although Siemian had a strong finish in the last drive during the 11-on-11 scrimmage.

“It was good,” Siemian said. “I got smacked around a bit early on and we came back and finished pretty well.”

The three quarterbacks had stronger practices Thursday. Sanchez had some good completions, including a throw to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in the corner of the end zone during one drill and he found tight end Virgil Green in the end zone a couple of times.

Siemian also hooked up with Green and Thomas for touchdowns, and Lynch ran one in.

With the situation still unresolved, the leadership role has fallen to third-year center Matt Paradis. Kubiak praised Paradis after Thursday’s practice and said he has helped keep the offense together.

“Matt’s becoming a really good player,” Kubiak said. “He’s a leader of our offensive football team as this quarterback deal continues to develop.”

NOTES: The Broncos cut WR Marlon Brown and signed OL Sam Carlson. … G Max Garcia was limited at practice a day after sitting out with an ankle injury.

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