While Siemian earned the relief of his initial victory, we as fans also won in that we'll never again have to hear the nauseating factoid that his only snap in the NFL was a kneel down.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p...What that victory also buys is a little breathing room for Siemian, who had pundits breathing down his neck and preemptively dismissing him before he had thrown his first NFL pass (by the way, his only snap before Thursday was a kneel down).
Many were skeptical, and perhaps rightfully so, but others were downright unforgiving in their breakdown of the former Northwestern passer. Most ripped his lack of experience (one kneel down) and weak pedigree. However, some went even further.
Namely, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggested in his Week One picks that Siemian was so ill-prepared for the Panthers that it might even lead to him soiling his pants on national television.
"Denver’s defense may still be able to slow down Carolina’s offense," Florio said, "but Carolina’s defense should be able to shut down a Denver offense led by a second-year seventh-round pick who will be wet behind the ears at kickoff and quite possibly wet elsewhere during the game."
First of all, I'd like to begin with the disclaimer that Florio may have been referring to another region of Siemian's anatomy, maybe saying his nerves would cause him to have sweaty palms or armpits, an ailment that affects a good amount of the population. That's a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why he would say something that uninformed, reckless, and completely unfounded.
Now, assuming that the founder of PFT was referring to Siemian urinating his trousers, I have a retort.
Not only were Trevor Siemian's football pants not wet, they were as dry as the Sahara in mid-August. Sure, I may not have been in the huddle to confirm this, but with the advent of high definition, I can safely say that his lower body was untarnished, and most likely has been since he graduated kindergarten.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1704596-broncos-made-a-statement-... In fact, Siemian was so busy not peeing his pants that he was able to lead impressive drives, maneuver the pocket with veteran awareness, and fire accurate passes inside and outside the numbers.
Of course, he did throw two interceptions (the second was completely his fault), but he rebounded each time and returned to the offense with a steady hand to lead a 10-point comeback in the fourth quarter.
His final stat line was 18-of-26 for 178 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. It's not an electric-looking performance on the surface, but given the context that it was his first start, I can definitely live with those numbers, especially given the win.
Let's compare his first performance with some other notable debuts:
John Elway: 1-of-8, 14 yards, one interception.
Peyton Manning: 21-of-37, 302 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions.
Russell Wilson: 18-of-34, 153 yards, one touchdown, one interception.
Eli Manning: 17-of-37, 162 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions.
You get the point. Am I cherry picking? Very possibly, but the fact of the matter is Siemian out-performed all of those players in their first starts despite being drafted seven rounds behind each of them. Draft position does not mean everything (Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick).
It was a performance to build on, learn from, and carry over into the next week. He put enough on tape to warrant some excitement and even praise, a far cry from the scoffing of hot-takers across the nation.
I don't know if he'll go on to have a long and illustrious career in the NFL, or if he'll even be able to hold off Paxton Lynch from starting later on in the season. That will ultimately be decided in the weeks to come.
However, there are two things I do know; Trevor Siemian did not pee his pants, and Antonio Gates played basketball in college.
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Will Keys is an Editor for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.