Thursday, however, we got to hear from the quarterbacks for the first time this year. Everybody is really interested in what version of Paxton Lynch we're going to see in year two — fans and media alike.
Lynch was drafted in the first round out of Memphis in 2016, and went on to serve as Denver's primary backup behind Trevor Siemian as a rookie. Lynch started two games — going 1-1 — and saw action in a third game on the road in Tampa.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1767581-broncos-draft-rewind-paxt... As a rookie, Lynch struggled in the traditional way that all college quarterbacks do — making the jump from the spread to the pro offenses. He was nowhere near ready to truly push Siemian for the starting job but the hope is that in year two, that will change.
The Broncos hired Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator and Bill Musgrave as quarterbacks coach — two guys commissioned to mine better production from the offense and from the young players on the roster, especially the quarterbacks.
Vance Joseph is a believer in structuring systems to the strengths of the players and McCoy has echoed that sentiment since being hired in January. We have at least a basic understanding of what McCoy's offense looks like.
He was the offensive coordinator here in Denver from 2009-12. And the Broncos competed against McCoy's Chargers for the last four years. Prepare yourselves for the proliferation of the bubble screen.
But as a bit of an offensive chameleon, we're all curious to know exactly what system McCoy has cooked up to maximize the immense physical talents of Lynch and the skill and savvy of Siemian. Lynch, perhaps unwittingly, gave us a little glimpse into what we can expect from Denver's new offense on Thursday.
"I'm very glad that we have Mike [McCoy] here," Lynch said. Coach [Bill] Musgrave is here. They're two very good coaches. This week that we've gonna over the playbook with Coach McCoy and the offense — it's looked good and I'm very excited from what I've seen so far and the stuff that he's told us. And the stuff that he wants the quarterbacks to do. Take a little bit more shots. I know there's been a lot more shotgun stuff, at least in the playbook that we've seen so far. So I've been excited about that. I came into this being very confident and ready to work hard."
Let's compare and contrast what Siemian had to say about the new offense, when asked directly, with Lynch's remarks.
"I think it helps everybody," Siemian said. "That's the plan, at least. I think it's exciting. I think really that Coach McCoy — really our whole staff — is pretty special and they've got a proven track record all over the place. I'm looking forward for the whole group. I think we've got a chance to be special. It's real early. We got through our third install, so I don't want to put the carriage in front of the horse. But I think we're on the right track and I'm looking forward to this year."
Lynch could learn a little something from Siemian about keeping the cards closer to the vest. Now, it's not like Lynch revealed any Earth-shattering insights, but speaking specifically about taking "more shots" and working more out of the shotgun, I can promise you, didn't please his coaches. They'll likely pull him aside and coach him up a little more on the do's and don't's of speaking to the media.
Loose lips sink ships.
Meanwhile, Siemian spoke in generalities, staying positive, and complimenting the new coaching staff. Siemian is very Peyton Manning-like in that regard. And let's be fair. Siemian learned at the feet of Manning for a year, while Lynch missed the five-time MVP by a couple months, like two ships passing in the night.
The quarterback competition will take center stage at Dove Valley for the next several months. If Lynch hopes to vanquish Siemian, he's got to be a little bit smarter with his remarks, and perhaps not quite so earnest. As harmless as Lynch's slips might be, he's got to stay in the good graces of his coaches.
“Just being here for a week, there hasn’t been much that we’ve seen," Lynch said. "Like I said, some of the stuff that we’ve seen, I know he’s going to put us in the shotgun a little bit more. That is one thing I am definitely excited about just because my whole college system was shotgun really. I know we’re going to have to get under center. Pressing the ball downfield, I’m definitely excited about that, too. Having the opportunity to run around a little bit, that excites me.”
He might be young and learning the vagaries of media relations the hard way, but Lynch has spent the better part of the offseason honing his craft with quarterback guru Charlie Tauffe. I expect that to pay some dividends for him this time around. According to Lynch, he's ready to go toe-to-toe with Siemian once again.
"Same mindset as I had last year," Lynch said. "It was the same situation I came into. I've had a year in the NFL, kind of a year to adjust. I don't have that rookie season anymore. So I'm ready to come in here and compete and have an opportunity to be the starter."
Lynch has reportedly returned to Dove Valley with more confidence, according to Demaryius Thomas. It's possible we might see a different Paxton Lynch on the field in 2017.
“I just want them to know that I’m here to work day in and day out," Lynch said. "I want to do whatever it takes to lead this team and show everybody in the locker room that I can lead the team and do whatever it takes to earn their respect and trust. That is not just the guys in the locker room, but the guys upstairs, too, and the coaches.”
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.