QB Paxton Lynch, in his own words, landed in the best situation possible. He is expected to be the future for the Denver Broncos and is a picture perfect fit for Gary Kubiak's West Coast variant offense. The former Memphis signal-caller knows there is plenty of work he needs to put in to be the quarterback he's expected to become.
Paxton brought a few mementos with him from Memphis that help keep him grounded. He wears a couple wristbands. One says, ‘Complete the mission,’ and the other says, ‘Earn it.’
"At Memphis, Coach Fuente just gave us one each year. I just kept them all on my wrists and whenever I got new ones I took the old ones off. I just keep them just to keep me humble in a way—like I’m still at Memphis and I have to earn every day and I have a mission to complete," Lynch said.
“At Memphis, we were always the underdog. So it was always about earning respect. Here it’s a little different. It’s an established franchise. [They] win and [they] have sell-out crowds all the time. It wasn’t like that at Memphis. It just keeps me thinking about where I came from and who I am as a person.”
During the pre-draft process, Lynch said he felt he could come in and start for a team this season, but it's still a process. Last week he went through his first practice as a professional football player and had this to say on his performance:
“Obviously it’s a whole new offense. It’s an NFL offense so there are going to be struggles with everybody. I felt like I knew what was going on; I just don’t think I was picking it up as fast as I should have. That will come in time. I just love the fact that I’m getting every rep I could possibly get right now so I’m taking advantage of that. When I get in camp with those older guys I’ll be splitting more reps, so I’m trying to get as much as I can now.”
Many have compared Lynch to his predecessor Brock Osweiler, due to their similar frames, although that's where the similarities end. Lynch reminds me of Joe Flacco, who had his best season as a pro under Kubiak, when the coach was with the Baltimore Ravens.
While Lynch gets up to speed in the NFL, the Broncos have Mark Sanchez at QB. Sanchez has stepped up and is already considered a leader in the locker room. The Broncos will look for better QB play in 2016 as the team looks to repeat, Lynch gives the team options if Sanchez struggles.