Not many outside of the Denver area had heard of second-year quarterback Trevor Siemian before Thursday's win against the Panthers, but that doesn't bother him. The seventh-round draft pick out of Northwestern is happy to go about his business quietly, as he did when he seized the opportunity to compete for a starting job this spring. He took time recently to discuss his NFL 'redshirt year,' winning over his teammates and his favorite Disney ride.
Aric DiLalla: You were involved in a quarterback competition at Northwestern. Are there any differences with a competition like that in the NFL?Trevor Siemian:You know, not too much. I think the similarities were that [Northwestern QB Kain Colter and Denver QB Mark Sanchez] are both good guys. There's good guys all across that I've run into. In that sense, it's been kind of professional with how the competition's gone, and we're all kind of pulling for each other, so that's been pretty consistent. It's not much different, other than scheme, obviously.
AD: Did you learn anything from the college competition that helped this time around?TS: Yeah, I mean, I learned pretty early to kinda worry about the things you can control. If you're worried about other people's reps or what reps I'm not getting, you can kinda go crazy doing that. So stay in your own shoes and stay in your own head and make the most of your reps.
AD: How did you manage to win over the respect of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and when did you see that begin to happen?TS:I treated them with respect. I didn't try to be anybody I'm not. I tried to be a good teammate to those guys, so they've been great the whole way through. Not just those guys, everybody across the board.
AD: Everybody talks about your ACL injury, but you had other injuries throughout college, like a heel injury your junior year. How tough was it to stay motivated through years of rehab?TS:It's tough, but that's kind of part of the game, too. I'm not the only person that's been dinged up playing. So that's part of the deal, and it takes a certain kind of guy or group to pull those guys along. So [I've been] fortunate to have some good teammates along the way.
AD: You could consider last year to be like a redshirt year where you got the mental reps. How tough is it to catch back up physically in terms of running plays within your own offense rather than with a scout team?TS:It's definitely different. The mental reps – they're close, but they're not quite the same as getting physical reps. You try to simulate the best you can, but there's really no replacement for it.
AD: Growing up in Windermere, Florida, did you do any fishing or boating?TS:I lived on the lake, so I was always on the lake growing up. Fishing -- a ton of fishing – wakeboarding, skiing, tubing – all that stuff. That was pretty standard issue for the weekend.
AD:Did you get over to Disney World at all?TS:We did when I was younger. When I was really young we had the family pass deal.
AD: What was your favorite ride?TS:I liked Animal Kingdom, Space Mountain – had a good time there. That's going back a way.
AD: How much better do you think you can get from here? Are there certain areas where you anticipate a large amount of growth?TS:I think that's the cool part about this game, is that there's always an opportunity to grow and learn and be better. I found that out from Peyton [Manning] last year. He's as good as it gets, and he was still fighting his tail off to get better every day. So there's always room to grow, and that's the exciting part about it. That's what keeps you going and keeps you engaged and excited when you come in in the morning