ENGLEWOOD — While their fans ponder another veteran QB arrival such as Tony Romo this offseason, the Denver Broncos say it's a two-man race between incumbent Trevor Siemian and former first-round pick Paxton Lynch.
"I'm happy with the guys we have," new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. "That is our No. 1 focus right now to get the two quarterbacks that we have right now on our roster ready to play."
Siemian was ready last year, Lynch not even close.
An afterthought even when Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler bolted, Siemian handily beat out veteran Lynch, the former Memphis star, and veteran Mark Sanchez in 2016.
Siemian went 8-6 as the starter and Lynch 1-1 in relief as the Broncos missed the playoffs a year after winning Super Bowl 50.
Both men will find themselves on equal footing when the offseason training program begins in April. Lynch, however, might be able to parlay his projected higher ceiling into an advantage.
General manager John Elway told sports radio 104.3 The Fan in Denver this week that the team was "really excited" for Lynch to compete for the starting job and that Lynch was "going to be here and have a great career with the Denver Broncos for a long, long time."
"Hopefully we get proven right," Elway said of the notion that Lynch is the future of the franchise. "Sometimes ... it takes a while for the answers to play out. So, we'll see what happens."
Siemian threw for 3,400 yards and 18 touchdowns last season but shoulder and foot injuries limited his mobility and accuracy down the stretch. Lynch threw for 500 yards and two scores in three games.
Although Lynch was effective coming off the bench in Week 4 at Tampa Bay, he looked uncomfortable in a Week 5 loss to Atlanta and in a victory at Jacksonville in Week 13.
The Gary Kubiak-Rick Dennison regime didn't put Lynch in his comfort zone — the shotgun — as much as he would have preferred in those two starts, something new coach Vance Joseph and McCoy seem more willing to do, judging by McCoy's comments this week.
"It's our job in the next couple of months to figure out what each one of those guys do and take advantage of their strengths and try to minimize their weaknesses," McCoy said Tuesday. "It's going to change, but they're going to start off on the same page in their playbook. We'll figure that out as time goes. We'll see what these two players do (well) and what do they like also."
Before his rookie season, Lynch had never really called plays in the huddle, taken snaps under center or read defensives while backpedaling. He should find more of a comfort zone in McCoy's offense, which always plays to his QB's strengths.
"I'm big into talking to the quarterbacks, installing from a week-to-week basis and looking at our plans and being open with these players and saying, 'What do you really like? What are your favorites?'" McCoy said. "When we get into the game plans at the end of the week, I'm going to ask the quarterbacks, 'What is your favorite plays in these situations? Your first- and second-down calls, what are your favorite plays?' Just so they have a lot of confidence when they're under center on game day."
Lynch said last month he would work on his footwork and accuracy this offseason and was hopeful the new offense would have some "similarities to the system" he learned as a rookie. "That's what the offseason is for. I'm going to grind at it just like I did with this offense. When that time comes, I'm going to work on it."