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Are The Carolina Panthers Worried About Facing Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian?

The Panthers don't quite know what to make of Broncos QB Trevor Siemian.

If you were an opposing defensive coordinator, how would you game-plan for Trevor Siemian?

Now a first-time starter for the Denver Broncos—who's yet to throw a pass in a regular season game—there isn't much for opposing teams to go on. A week from today, the Broncos will host the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 of the 2016 regular season. 

In a rarefied meeting, the two teams from last year's Super Bowl will battle each other in the opening week of the season. This time, however, the Panthers don't have a Peyton Manning to scout—who has hours and hours of game film—nor Brock Osweiler—who started seven games for the Broncos in 2015. 

The Panthers are faced with game-planning for Siemian, and from the sounds of it, they're a little uncomfortable about the prospect. In an interview with Black and Blue Review, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott talked about Carolina's challenge in Week 1. 

“I'll equate it to a baseball analogy where you get a first-time pitcher who's always going to have more success early because people really don't know his stuff as well,” Carolina’s defensive coordinator says. “Whereas if you get him on tape and there's more eyes on him, scouting reports, so on and so forth, then you get a little bit more familiar with him.”

Think of Siemian what you will, but McDermott's challenge is real. Siemian has appeared in three preseason games this year, adding to his total NFL experience, including last year's preseason action. The Broncos, like most NFL teams, ran what was surely a "vanilla" scheme this summer. Head coach Gary Kubiak, the team's play-caller on gameday, isn't going to put his bread and butter on tape for all the league to see in games that don't count. 

Not knowing Siemian, nor being sure what to expect from Kubiak's offense, creates an obstacle for McDermott. You can go back and watch Siemian's tape at Northwestern, but there's not a lot of it. 

“That's the hard part, too,” McDermott says. “You'd love to have about three or four games in the regular season and say, ‘OK, we've got him in game five.’”

Carolina gets him in game 1. They will have to base their game plan around Denver's offense last year, and Kubiak's history in the NFL. And hope their exceptional defense can win the matchups. 

The Panthers have struggled somewhat as a team this preseason, but don't let that color your expectations for the defending NFC Champions. When they arrive in the Mile High City on September 8, they'll have revenge on their minds and in their hearts. 

It will be up to Trevor Siemian and Gary Kubiak to stop them from serving it up cold. 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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