Siemian gets turn to start in Broncos QB competition
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Trevor Siemian, locked in a tight battle with Mark Sanchez for the Broncos’ starting quarterback job, will get his turn to start Saturday night during Denver’s exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Sanchez, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia as a potential replacement for the retired Peyton Manning, started the Broncos’ exhibition opener last week in Chicago.
Rookie first-round pick Paxton Lynch also is in the mix, though the bulk of his work has been with the third team.
Siemian and Sanchez have split repetitions with the Broncos first-team offense throughout training camp and with the two waging a close competition for the job, coach Gary Kubiak decided Siemian should also get a crack at starting.
Kubiak said he would like to make a decision on a starter next week but did not rule out taking more time to finalize his pick.
“Would I like to? Yes. Will I? We’ll see,” Kubiak said.
The Broncos, coming off their Super Bowl-winning season, will have a new face at starting quarterback no matter who gets the job. Brock Osweiler, who went 5-2 in place of the injured Manning last season, left for Houston in free agency.
Siemian, who got in for one play (a game-ending kneel-down) as the third-team quarterback last season, is the lone quarterback on the Broncos’ roster with experience in Kubiak’s offensive system.
Sanchez, an eight-year veteran, by far has the edge in game experience with 72 career regular-season starts, including two last season when he was a backup with the Eagles.
Both played well in the preseason opener as did Lynch, and Kubiak has said he expects to have to make a very tough decision since so little has separated Sanchez and Siemian during their competition in training camp.
Kubiak said he has done what he can to make the competition fair, right down to the number of plays Siemian and Sanchez get with the first-team offense.
He said a variety of factors will come into play in ultimately making the call.
“I’m looking at everything, leadership, how they handle the team,” Kubiak said. “Obviously, you want to make them each make the same amount of decisions. If I sent one out there and one throws it four times and the other throws it 15 … I’d like to see that pretty equal. I just watch their decision-making process and those types of things.”
Siemian and Sanchez will each play roughly a quarter and a half. Lynch will finish up, Kubiak said.
Meanwhile, Kubiak said defensive end Derek Wolfe’s left ankle injury was not as serious as initially feared.
Wolfe limped off the practice field with the assistance of a couple of trainers Wednesday after rolling the ankle during a pass rush. He was held out of practice Thursday.
“Derek is fine,” Kubiak said. “I expect Derek back for our light practice (Friday). I expect him to play. Derek is doing well.”
NOTES: Linebacker Von Miller, who was held out of last week’s exhibition opener at Chicago, is expected to play Saturday night against the San Francisco 49ers in his first game action since being named Super Bowl MVP in the Broncos’ 24-10 victory over Carolina. … Also expected to make his Broncos debut is left tackle Russell Okung, a key offseason free agent acquisition. … The Broncos wrapped up the second and final day of joint practices with the 49ers at their Dove Valley training facility.