DENVER --The quarterback position is settled; Trevor Siemian will start Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers and play the entire first half as he prepares to lead the offense during the regular season.
"We chose Trevor because he performed better," Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "That's really it. That's the truth."
Beyond Siemian, competition remains lively at some spots throughout the depth chart with some battles potentially in play through the preseason finale next Thursday against Arizona.
But the primary task is simple: Lay the groundwork to be ready for the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11. Everything Joseph has planned this week has revolved around simulating a regular-season week to get his team ready. The fact that the opponent is a team that was in the NFC Championship Game last January only helps matters.
"I think it's huge for us because of who we're playing," Joseph said. "It's a playoff-type team. It's a top-five offense. It's an aggressive defense that turns the ball over. For us, it's going to be a real test.
"Obviously, being the third game, it's our first real game plan of the season. So, it's important who we're playing and how we're going to play. It's huge for us."
What are the goals of the game?
- Get Von Miller ready for Week 1**
"I'm D-F-W: I'm down for whatever," Miller said after Tuesday's practice. "Whatever Coach [Joseph] wants me to do, I'm going to be ready to go."
Joseph did not specify how much he would use Miller, but did say that he wanted to protect Miller, who did not play in either of the first two preseason games.
2. See back-to-back solid games from the D-line
The play of Adam Gotsis, Zach Kerr and first-team nose tackle Domata Peko against the 49ers drew praise from Head Coach Vance Joseph throughout the week. With Derek Wolfe and Jared Crick out once again, Kerr and Gotsis will start and flank Peko. Another solid performance would offer assurance that the Broncos will be deeper and stronger up front than they were last year.
- Get a good look at Jamaal Charles**
Charles is poised to make his Broncos preseason debut, and Joseph said this week that the 10-year veteran running back will play "a lot" Saturday night, breaking into action at some point during the first 15 offensive snaps.
"I just want to see, is it Jamaal? We're going to see," fellow running back C.J. Anderson said Tuesday. "He told me he was going to be out of the knee brace. We're excited about that. I'm just excited to see the same No. 25 that I grew up watching and then got a chance to play against when he was over there in Kansas City."
How Charles is used will be fascinating. In practice, he has been as effective catching passes as carrying the football, just like he was in Kansas City.
"Jamaal is a special player and we know that," Anderson said. "The opportunity that he is going to get this weekend is a going to be exciting. Hopefully, with me and him switching off and on, we can put the one-two punch together."
4. Gain clarity at left guard
For a second consecutive game, Max Garcia and Allen Barbre are expected to split repetitions at left guard with the first unit. Joseph said he hopes to have his starters "pretty set" after Saturday's game, but the decision between the two players could be difficult.
"Both guys are playing well," Joseph said. "It's going to be tight."
5. Stay healthy
The injuries to New England's Julian Edelman and Kansas City's Spencer Ware in Friday night's action provided a reminder that all other priorities are secondary to emerging from the preseason healthy.
The Broncos continued their preparation for the Packers' visit to Denver for their third preseason game, which is widely regarded as a "dress rehearsal" for the regular season. (photos by Gabriel Christus)