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Broncos minicamp Day 1 takeaways: Where do Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian stand?

Posted Jun 13, 2017

They're still on equal footing, as "zero to none" of the competition has been decided so far. Find out how they did Tuesday in the Day 1 wrap-up.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The quarterback competition between Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian will not truly begin until training camp starts next month. That has been Head Coach Vance Joseph's consistent mantra, and he repeated it after the first practice of minicamp Tuesday.

So just how much of the competition will be decided on the work before training camp?

"Probably zero to none," Joseph said. "It's going to be won in the games and the preseason. That's when the evaluation starts, in my opinion."

The previous three weeks were about installing the scheme. On Tuesday, Joseph and the offensive coaches began the process of exposing Lynch, Siemian and the offense to concepts for the second time.

As was the case the previous three weeks, there were some moments to savor and others to be used as building blocks.

"There's been positive plays by both guys. There's been big throws by both guys. There's been some terrible throws by both guys," Joseph said. "Our mindset has not changed. As we watch these guys, we’re just coaching and trying to improve every day. When we get to [training camp], we’ll have a true evaluation."

And that will continue until one quarterback creates some space from the other.

"When I see a clear separation, I'll call it off," Joseph said.

But that could be a while. Tuesday's work was much as it was during OTAs -- peppered with good and bad moments for the quarterbacks.

Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian... The seven-on-seven period was perhaps the most fascinating portion of Lynch's day. Working with the No. 2 offense, he had his worst throw of the day on his second pass of the period, misfiring on a pass into the right flat. Taurean Nixon easily intercepted it and returned it for a touchdown.

But on the next play, Lynch found Cody Latimer deep up the right sideline for a touchdown. After a pass-interference penalty wiped out an incompletion, Lynch again went downfield, locating TE Austin Traylor in stride down the right seam.

"There are going to be mistakes. No one is perfect," Lynch said. "Bounce back from your mistakes and you’ve got a chance to make a big play.

"Coach [Offensive Coordinator Mike] McCoy turned to me and just said, 'Next play, next play.’ [He] gave me a shot and then I took advantage of it.”

... This is the sort of quick rebound that Joseph wants to see from his passers.

"A couple of weeks ago, that was our emphasis with the quarterbacks -- after a bad play, how do we correct that bad play and make it into a positive play the next play?" Joseph said. "That's critical playing that position."

Sometimes, the bounce-backs aren't as dramatic as going from a pick-six to a touchdown, but they do matter. Earlier in practice, Siemian had a pass knocked down at the line of scrimmage by DE Adam Gotsis -- a pass that was low and could have been released at a point to avoid that play.

One snap later, Siemian adjusted, tossing the football just out of the reach of multiple defenders and into the hands of running back De'Angelo Henderson, who turned upfield for a long gain.

"There's going to be some bad plays, but how do you bounce back from those bad plays? It's important," Joseph said.

... Perhaps the most consistent period for the offense was the "move-the-ball" segment near the end of practice. It began with Siemian leading the No. 1 offense into field-goal range after stepping out of a rush and hitting a wide-open Emmanuel Sanders for a long gain.

Lynch then guided the No. 2 offense to a touchdown. A deep pass up the right sideline to TE Jeff Heuerman moved the offense into field-goal range. After a first-down sack, De'Angelo Henderson handled the rest of the work, shooting through a hole up the middle for a 27-yard touchdown run.

"The offense, in my opinion, today they responded with a big stick," Joseph said. "They've competed all spring. That's what we want: We want both sides competing equally."

... With the offense fully installed, Tuesday's work revolved around a "review phase" of the first installation, which took place when OTAs began last month.

"It looks better. The communication's a lot cleaner," Joseph said.

... There were multiple scuffles during the team periods of Tuesday's practice, and Derek Wolfe was at the center of them, along with offensive linemen such as Connor McGovern and Ron Leary. None of them concerned the head coach.

"That's going to happen," Joseph said. "Guys are competing. Guys want to win a role on this football team. So that happens from time to time, but it cannot be personal."

It came as no surprise to Joseph that the hyper-competitive Wolfe was involved.

"That's his personality," Joseph said. "But I'm excited to see our guys take a stand offensively."

... DE DeMarcus Walker showed explosiveness off the edge, forcing an incompletion early in practice by bursting around the right side of the offensive line.

... Rookie WR Anthony Nash has made some solid catches during recent work, including a sliding grab near the sideline during the seven-on-seven period.

... Siemian and WR Cody Latimer continued to connect on a regular basis, hooking up for consecutive plays during a team period early in practice.

... Defensive ends Wolfe, Gotsis and Shelby Harris all deflected passes at the line of scrimmage Tuesday.

... CB Lorenzo Doss nearly joined Nixon in posting a pick-six Tuesday, but could not hang on to an errant Siemian pass during a team period.

... First-round pick Garett Bolles rotated in with the first team at left tackle Tuesday. Bolles and third-year veteran Ty Sambrailo alternated periods with the No. 1 offense. Joseph said he's seen "a lot of progress" from Bolles.

"It's a tough spot to play as a rookie, and it takes a lot of football IQ to play left tackle in the NFL," Joseph said. "When he knows what to do, he can block his guy, so his talent shows. The ultimate issue is knowing what to do and how to do it. But he's a first-round pick for a reason. He's a talent."

... Max Garcia worked at left guard, the position at which he started last year, with Ron Leary moving to right guard. All of Leary's starts in his NFL career have come at left guard. Last month, Leary expressed a willingness to move to the right side if the need arose.

"Hopefully that's a better mesh for us," Joseph said. "We think Max is more comfortable playing left [guard], and Ronald, he doesn't care. So that's the best thing for us."

... TE Jake Butt took part in individual drills and donned a helmet for the first time. Butt continues to make progress in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but Joseph said he would "probably" start training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list.