Trevor Siemian has been named the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos, thus ending a months-long battle with Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez, who has played in two AFC Championships, certainly has more experience than Siemian, who has never attempted an NFL pass. Ultimately, though, the Broncos had no choice.
“Well, he was the best quarterback legitimately,” Denver’s 104.3 The Fan host Darren McKee said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence, referring to Siemian. “If it wasn’t Trevor, it would have been about something else. All along, Gary Kubiak said it was going to be a quarterback battle and it was close and all that, and in the end, he was telling us the truth. The easy way to go would have been to force Mark Sanchez down everybody’s throat, but it would have been a tough sell around here because Trevor just had a better camp.”
Siemian, in case you don’t know, played at Northwestern and was a seventh-round pick in 2015.
“Not a lot of people knew him around here,” McKee said. “The news today, I’m going to guess, is catching some people by surprise, but it wasn’t even that close in the end, which is so depressing for Mark Sanchez. Not only did he blow this opportunity, but in the end, it wasn’t even that close. Not only did Mark Sanchez not play on Saturday, but he’s not going to play on Thursday. Gary Kubiak has already made that clear. He said Paxton Lynch is going to go the whole way. I don’t know. Maybe he’ll take a serious pay cut to stay with the Broncos, but I just don’t know how they keep Mark Sanchez.”
Sanchez had a number of high-profile turnovers throughout camp and preseason, which has always been his Achilles heel. He has a tendency to throw the worst possible interception or cough up the worst possible fumble at the worst possible time.
That didn’t change in Denver.
“Well, the interceptions are bad,” McKee said. “Every day in camp was like, ‘Oh, there you go. Another pick-six (from) Mark Sanchez.’ There were like four days in a row of camp like that. That’s bad, but that’s not the worst. The worst is the fumbles. It’s the one thing you can’t do as a quarterback is fumble the football. They are way more forgiving in terms of interceptions. To them, if you don’t throw an interception, you’re not trying in terms of being a quarterback. But it’s the fumbles. So when Sanchez fumbled twice in like three different close plays, twice in the red zone, to end the half a couple weeks ago, it was unforgivable. He just can’t escape that. It really was an accumulation of just how things had gone in camp.”
Perfect example: One day in camp, while practicing a specific sequence, Sanchez was supposed to spike the ball to stop the clock. He instead took a knee, which was literally the worst thing he could do in that situation.
“It was such a Mark Sanchez type of moment,” McKee said. “The grounding the ball thing was actually kind of a big deal. It just showed that a veteran player in practice at any point should never be making a mistake like that. This type of thing seemed to always be happening to Mark Sanchez. Siemian didn’t have moments like that. He wasn’t spectacular, but he just didn’t have moments like that – and that more or less sealed the deal.”
Denver hosts Carolina on Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET.