The Denver Broncos announced on Monday that Trevor Siemian will start Week 1 at quarterback, having beat out Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch for the job.
Although reports throughout preseason said that the Broncos really liked what they saw from Siemian, that he’s now starting for the defending Super Bowl champs is still a big surprise.
After all, the 24-year-old has played only one regular season snap in the NFL (he kneed the ball before halftime in one game last season), he had a forgettable college career at Northwestern that ended with a knee injury, and — most surprisingly of all — he nearly quit football entirely to work in real estate.
Midway through training camp, Siemian told the New York Times that after his injury, he considered hanging up his cleats. A job in corporate real estate looked like it might be more feasible than making it in the NFL.
Luckily, he changed his mind.
“You’re kind of down in the dumps, much like everybody else who goes through a major injury, and you start to think,” Siemian told the Times. “But I didn’t want to sit behind a desk or on my front porch 10 years down the road and say, Aw shucks, I should have played; I should have given it a shot.”
Siemian nixed his corporate plans and entered the draft in 2015. In the 7th round, with the 250th overall pick in the draft, the Broncos took a chance on him.
After Siemian’s rookie season ended with zero throws, most would have envisioned a career as a back-up. But then, during the offseason, Peyton Manning retired, and Brock Osweiler skipped town for Houston.
When the Broncos announced the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job would be Siemian, Sanchez, and the rookie Lynch, Siemian said he started to gain confidence.
“I got here and I said, I can do this,” Siemian told the Times. “I saw Peyton do it. I saw Brock do it. I knew I wasn’t there yet, but I hit a couple throws in a row and moved the offence. Maybe you keep doing that, and who knows what can happen?”
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Siemian is — if nothing else — just the sort of physical specimen John Elway and Gary Kubiak are known to prefer under center. (Osweiler, remember, is 6-foot-7.)
Siemian is untested, and may well end up back on the bench at some point this season if Kubiak decides to turn the offence over to Lynch.
But for now, he’s a starting quarterback for the defending champions. And that’s a whole lot better than working in commercial real estate.
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