For the Browns, the launch of the preseason will come after a starting quarterback has been picked. For the Broncos, the first preseason game will simply be the start of the process.
On Wednesday, coach Gary Kubiak made it clear that he won’t know who the starter is for a while.
“I don’t think anybody has taken off and done anything,” Kubiak told reporters. “I think they’ve all done what they did in the off season. They all continue to do it. We’ll just going here. We’ll start playing some people and playing some games. We’re going to find out.”
The comments came after a practice that left Kubiak unimpressed with his three options: Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch.
“We’ve had some good days. We’ve had some real good days. It just wasn’t as good as it needed to be today,” Kubiak said. “As long as I’ve been doing this, it’s the way it works. You just have to keep going and try to be consistent. That’s what we’re working towards.”
Kubiak added that Lynch, the team’s first-round pick, has been “kind of up and down” and “didn’t practice well” after Tuesday’s day off.
“Pros do it all the time, not every now and then,” Kubiak said regarding the desired level of performance from Lynch. “He’s got a way to go.”
Each of the three quarterback options also addressed the media on Wednesday. None created a vibe that creates the impression that he plans to seize the job.
“I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes or what coach is thinking about this or that,” Lynch said. “I’m just coming out here each day trying to get better and take the reps where I get them, no matter who they’re with. . . . If you can’t go out there and move the team down the field and win games for the team, you won’t be playing. But I think we have good competition going on between the three of us, so that’s good for all of us.”
Sanchez had much less to say about the competition, specifically regarding when it will be resolved.
“We have no idea,” Sanchez said. “It doesn’t matter.”
Siemian, an afterthought a year ago, continues to focus on emerging as the winner.
“Absolutely, that’s the goal,” he said. “You know, if that weren’t my mindset, I’d be in a whole heck of a lot of trouble if it happened. That’s my mindset, something I’m ready for. We’ll see what happens.”
Still, Siemian isn’t thinking about any one specific thing he needs to do to get the nod from Kubiak.
“I think that if I went in it with that mindset, I’d be turning the ball over or playing outside of myself,” Siemian said. “I just stick to the guns and kind of roll with what got me here.”
The Broncos got here after the retirement of Peyton Manning and free-agency departure of Brock Osweiler. With the regular-season opener only 36 days away, the identity of the successor to Manning and Osweiler continues to be one of the biggest questions swirling around the team.