Lynch is the clear choice to be Broncos’ QB

There’s this notion that Trevor Siemian is somehow like Alex Smith, the Kansas City quarterback dubbed “captain checkdown” for his conservative nature.

It’s partly true, in that Siemian tried to play it extremely safe last season. But calling him Alex Smith is giving Siemian waaaaaaay too much credit.

Siemian completed only 59.5 percent of his passes last season, on par with Colin Kaepernick (59.2 percent), Case Keenum (60.9 percent), and — gasp — Brock Osweiler (59 percent). Siemian threw 10 interceptions, two more than Smith, and did so on fewer attempts.

The kicker? Even Siemian’s yards per attempt (7.0) is less than Smith (7.2). Siemian might be better at checking down than Smith, if Smith’s completion percentage wasn’t nearly eight points higher.

There’s the nature of the interceptions, too. At least three of those interceptions came off busted screens. That’s extremely hard to watch, but can be mostly chalked up to Siemian’s youth. On top of that, he’s had massive, drive-stalling, momentum-destroying picks. Remember the ball he threw directly to New Orleans safety Kenny Vaccaro late in the third quarter? Siemian’s lucky that didn’t cost Denver the game. It took a blocked PAT for the Broncos to steal the victory.

Then, there’s the disastrous New England game, where Siemian nickel-and-dimed the best defense in football, working his way into the red zone. All that came crashing down with Logan Ryan’s pick on a mind-numbingly under-thrown ball and Denver stumbled to a 16-3 loss.

So now that I’ve taken you through the Trevor Siemian lowlight reel, where’s that leave the Denver Broncos? Well, for the first time in history, somebody has to convince Broncos fans to side with John Elway.

Paxton Lynch, the first-round selection hand-picked by the Duke of Denver himself, is the way forward. Maybe not for the long term, but definitely this coming season. I know exactly what I’m getting with Siemian and although that might have worked in Gary Kubiak’s archaic offense, that won’t fly under the new guard. Head coach Vance Joseph, and perhaps more importantly, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, are looking for a return to big-play offense. Siemian certainly isn’t the guy for that. Lynch can be.

Lynch is big, strong and mobile. His 6-foot-7, 245-pound frame dwarfs most quarterbacks and has the arm strength his length and bulk would suggest. Add in that he runs like old-school Ben Roethlisberger and it’s safe to say Denver has an extremely remarkable athlete taking snaps in camp.

With Kubiak’s departure, Denver’s offense is back in McCoy’s hands. This is a perfect situation for somebody like Lynch.

The big QB’s toughest adjustment coming out of the University of Memphis was having to go under center. He — like Marcus Mariota, Cam Newton and Jared Goff — comes from a college system with few multi-read plays. In college, Lynch checked his first option, maybe checked his second option, then, if nothing’s available, he improvised on the run.

Not only have these types of quarterbacks made the jump to the NFL, they’ve thrived under capable playcallers.

McCoy built an offense around Tim Tebow, who is now failing upwards in Minor League Baseball. Then, McCoy tailored Peyton Manning’s system around Denver’s personnel. It’s hard to find more opposite quarterbacks in the history of football, but McCoy made it work under both of them.

Almost every knock on Lynch — a slow trigger, his awkwardness under center, his unfamiliarity with Kubiak’s offense — all of that goes away when McCoy tailors an offense to the signal-caller.

Lynch has the tools. Now there are coaches in place to help him see his potential. Elway is looking for a return on his investment and this is the coaching staff that will help him realize it.


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