DENVER - "I love Kubes," Siemian said. "I owe him a lot, obviously. I had no business being drafted, no business really being around, so I owe him a lot for giving me a chance, getting me in the door and giving me a chance to play. It's tough, but I've got to push on."
Siemian, with the exception of an interception, was at his best in his final game for Kubiak, who is departing as the Broncos' head coach. Siemian completed 17 of 27 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. His oft-criticized line gave him time to throw, and he was poised and accurate.
Kubiak had said Paxton Lynch and Siemian would split time in the season finale, but Lynch never took the field. Fans were denied a preview of the struggle for the 2017 starting job.
But even Kubiak, Siemian's biggest booster, realizes that battle is on the horizon.
"Paxton has a bright future," Kubiak said. "It's going to be a hell of a battle between those two kids next year."
If Kubiak had remained head coach, Siemian would have retained at least a slight advantage in that battle to direct the Broncos offense. It's obvious Kubiak appreciates Siemian's unlikely ride to NFL starter.
"He was a seventh-round pick," Kubiak said of Siemian. "When we came out of camp, let's face it, people thought our quarterback would be a lot of guys, but they didn't think it would be Trevor."
Siemian conquered the odds to start at quarterback for the Broncos in 2016.
He'll face similar odds in 2017.