Quarterback Watch lives on. Expect it to be the focal point of any Denver Broncos-related activities this summer.
Last week, we heard good things about Paxton Lynch's confidence and performance in the last session of OTAs, and now with the onset of June Mini-Camp, we have another evaluation of the signal callers from Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy after practice.
“All of the quarterbacks have done a nice job of picking up the system and directing the traffic," McCoy said. "There’s a lot they do at the line of scrimmage and there are certain things we’re going to ask them to do in terms of getting us in and out of plays. I think they’re headed in the right direction—all of them, not just the two that you’re thinking about right now. Kyle [Sloter] has done a nice job moving the offense in there and running the system. We’re going to let them compete and some point in time we’re going to figure it out as a staff who the guy is.”
This may not seem like a big deal to hear collective praise from a coach, but if you pay close enough attention, they can occasionally give you a little hint every now and then as to who they've tabbed as the favorite to win the starting job. Usually, they'll mention a player by name without being asked or they'll keep circling back to that player when evaluating the group as a whole. It happened last year when Gary Kubiak assured everyone in June that Trevor Siemian had as good a chance to win the starting job as anyone. And sure enough, he was telling the truth.
Does that mean Kyle Sloter has a leg up on the rest of the guys and will start come Week One? Yeah, probably not, but he could end up being a practice squad candidate depending on the health of Chad Kelly.
Interestingly enough, Sloter was the only quarterback McCoy mentioned by name today. The words "Siemian" or "Lynch" were never spoken. One reporter even asked directly about Lynch's mental toughness, and McCoy, almost oddly, dodged the question.
"We’re going to make mistakes, not just at the quarterback position, but everybody," McCoy said. "There’s going to be a play where you get beat, and you’ve got to respond to it. You saw that yesterday in practice. We threw an interception and then we threw a big play that probably was a touchdown. That’s what you want all the players to do. You want them to respond and fight through the adversity."
The way McCoy speaks about the quarterbacks as one unit gives the impression that there is no clear-cut favorite right now. And if there is, McCoy and everyone else is doing a great job of hiding it.
So if Paxton Lynch earned the gold star last week, chalk it up as a draw today.