Depending on who you talk to, Trevor Siemian is considered either a late-round gem, or a gatekeeper to the future. With a must-win game looming against familiar Conference foe the New England Patriots, Siemian seems to be out of place to some.
He doesn’t command the same of type of awe and respect that his counterpart, Tom Brady, does for the Patriots. Siemian is not perceived as an emotional leader, or a once-in-a-lifetime talent like DeMarcus Ware or Von Miller on his own team. Yet, for all those things he lacks, the postseason hopes of the Denver Broncos likely rest on his right arm.
For all intents and purposes, Siemian is a rookie playing in his first NFL season. In that steep learning curve, he has played as well as could be expected as a former lightly-regarded quarterback prospect. Giving fuel to his supporters and critics alike, the performance of the second-year pro has experienced peaks and valleys all year.
What can’t be questioned, however, is the grit and toughness that belies Siemian's even-keeled demeanor on the field. While his performance will be nit-picked and prodded over after every game, Siemian consistently displays the heart and guts needed to be a NFL-caliber signal-caller.
Playing through nagging injuries to his non-throwing shoulder and left foot has only solidified that notion.
The quarterback legacy this team has in its history is daunting. From Craig Morton to John Elway, to Jake Plummer and to Peyton Manning, a looming shadow is cast over all who play the position for the Broncos.
It makes it even more ironic then that heir-apparent — Brock Osweiler — would eagerly move on from that tradition and pressure, giving way to Siemian — who fully embraces it. Passing Game Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach Gregg Knapp pointed out the pressures that Siemian has faced in going from third-stringer to starting quarterback.
“He gets it. He likes the challenge," Knapp said earlier this week. "He doesn’t question it. He understands the standard that’s been set here. I tell any quarterback that comes into this building, not many places where the GM is a Hall of Famer and the head coach is really good at coaching the quarterback position. So the standard is set high here.”
Siemian himself isn’t getting caught up in his own play either, which has seen him come alive in the second half of losses to Kansas City and Tennessee. While coming up just short in both contests, the young QB looked miles apart from the player we saw at the beginning of the year.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1738588-denver-s-struggles-on-sie... “There are always spots that you can get better," Siemian said. "Looking back now, there are definitely a couple of plays that I wish that I could do over again that might have changed the outcome of the game. You never know. Everybody will agree with you that we like being coached hard, if they’re made of the right stuff, at least. I think our guys are."
The ability to shake off bad plays and continue to battle is as important to a quarterback’s skill-set as the ability to hit a back-shoulder throw. For all of Siemian’s flaws, he has shown the ability to continue to improve incrementally every week.
For better or for worse, the Denver Broncos have hitched their wagon to Siemian. Hoping they can squeeze a playoff run out of his talents, the team that the 'experts' say shouldn’t have won a Super Bowl last year is riding a quarterback that shouldn’t have been a starter this year.
The Denver faithful are split down the middle pn whether or not Siemian has the chops needed to get the team to the Promised Land. Yes, he holds the ball too long at times. Yes, he struggles with lapses in accuracy.
But, he has done what no one thought he was capable of either — putting the Broncos on the doorstep of yet another playoff berth.
Siemian, even-keeled and measured as always, touched on how important it is to stay in the moment.
“I’m really not looking too far ahead," he said. "Me and everybody else knows that we have a special opportunity these next few weeks. I’m not looking too far ahead. I want to make the most of these next couple of games and get us into the playoffs to make a run here.”
Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.
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