Even before Paxton Lynch hits the field for his first NFL snaps, he will have already made a great read. While confidence and borderline cockiness are attributes shared by so many players nowadays, Lynch seems to be bringing a refreshing and accurate self-awareness of where he stands on the Denver Broncos quarterback depth chart.
Tuesday, he talked about his progress so far as it relates to the learning the nuances of the Broncos offense,
“It’s not 100 percent, obviously because of the time that I’ve been here, but I’m more confident in myself in knowing the plays and playing a little bit faster than when I first arrived here," Lynch said.
In spite of those comments, he did also talk about where he felt he's improved.
“Just how far that I’ve come mentally," Lynch said. "When I first got here, it was kind of thrown at me and I was having trouble calling plays in the huddle. Now, I’m doing a lot better with that. Going out there, my footwork is where it needs to be. I still have a while to go with that, but from when I first got here until now, I’m very pleased with my progress.”
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1688594-mhh-premium-how-you-can-s... Most likely, Lynch will start the season as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart, behind veteran Mark Sanchez and second-year player Trevor Siemian. Despite the perceived cushiness of the job the backup quarterback has in the NFL, it comes with many responsibilities.
While Lynch sounds confident in his growth at the position, he also seems fully aware that there is room for improvement and is focused on putting in the work to become better.
Just from what little we have heard from Lynch should give Denver fans a glimpse into what the future could hold for the promising rookie. He could have gone the route of saying that he expected to start this year, or go on about his lofty aspirations. Instead, we found that the rookie is fully aware of the situation that is ahead him.
“I definitely think I have an opportunity to better myself and put myself up in the position to play right away or sooner than I had thought," Lynch said. "I knew Mark and Trevor were going to be ahead of me because of their experience—Trevor with his experience in the offense and Mark with his experience in the league—and me being a rookie. This is the first time that I’ve seen a playbook like that, so I knew it was going to be tough and I knew I was going to be behind. The biggest thing for me is just staying confident in myself, keep my head up, keep pushing through and keep grinding. It’ll come to you eventually. From a competition standpoint, you’re not just going to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll take the back seat.’ It’s my job as a rookie to push those guys that are ahead of me however I can.”
It is refreshing to see the rookie’s attitude for a couple of reasons. First, he knows that he has the opportunity to be better than where he is right now. While not selling himself short, he also doesn’t disparage the abilities of the guys ahead of him.
You have to respect and admire that Lynch is willing to accept that this year may not be his time to produce on the field, but it won’t stop him from working hard and being ready when his number is called.
Secondly, he shows poise in agreeing that both Sanchez and Siemian should be ahead of him right now. Everyone in NFL wants the chance to play and compete—Lynch is showing us that he wants to do the same.
But, he is also telling us he knows he will have to earn that time and it won’t be handed to him. This signals to the veterans on the team that he is looking to be a willing a contributor, making everyone better, even though he may not be starting at this time.
Below: Paxton Lynch talks about acclimating to the speed of the NFL
Most will think that confidence and humbleness are mutually exclusive. I would argue that maturity comes from being humble, which in turn, instills confidence. In one interview, Paxton Lynch has shown that he is both competitive and driven to succeed, while also acknowledging he has work ahead of him.
Barring some type of unforeseen disaster that befalls the team this year, Lynch will most likely take a “redshirt year” to fully grasp the playbook, while also smoothing out issues with his footwork, and playing under center, among other things. Lynch has shown a maturity that can only help him at the most difficult job in the NFL today.
The NFL is littered with the would-be careers of the likes of JaMarcus Russell and Tim Couch, to name a couple. Playing quarterback goes so far beyond just the physical aspect and is a major reason for so many high-round quarterback picks washing out of the league.
GM John Elway and the Denver Broncos thought enough of Lynch to move up in the draft to acquire him for his physical talents. By showing maturity and composure, Lynch is already to showing he could be the complete package of brains and brawn needed not only to survive, but thrive in the league today.
Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.
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