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'I'm excited for the opportunity': QB Jarrett Stidham evaluates strides made in two starts, looks forward to 2024 possibilities

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — While quarterback Jarrett Stidham's primary goal was to finish his brief starting stint with a 2-0 record, he acknowledged the step forward he took over the last two weeks.

"I felt like I definitely grew in those two weeks," said Stidham on Monday as the Broncos' season came to a close. "It's one thing to practice certain things, but once you're out there playing and making calls at the line and doing certain things and getting a feel for it in live action, I felt like I definitely grew and [I'm] looking forward to the spring."

Stidham completed 40-of-66 passes for 496 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and an 87.7 quarterback rating in two starts to end the season, and he said he believed the Broncos' offense "did some good things" in limited action.

In Sunday's start vs. the Raiders, Stidham connected on six passes for at least 20 yards, which was the most chunk passing plays the Broncos posted during the 2023 season.

"[There's] some stuff to build off of, for sure," Stidham said. "We'll take a look this offseason and evaluate and see if we can get better."

As Stidham and the Broncos head into the offseason, the fifth-year player said there are tangible benefits to being able to review his own game footage as he prepares for Year 2 in Head Coach Sean Payton's system.

"I love being hands on with things and learning things that way — [by] doing things," Stidham said. "I am an auditory and a visual learner, but getting out there and actually doing it definitely helps. [I] definitely feel, like I said, [I] grew in the offense over the last two weeks, and it was good to get out there and actually do it."

Stidham said when the Broncos return for the offseason program in the spring, it will be "huge" for the offense to not have to learn a new system. 

"Nothing's going to be new," Stidham said. "It's all going to be stuff that we've heard before, stuff that we know how to do and why we're doing it. Half the time, that's the battle. It's good to kind of have that under your belt."

And when Stidham does return, he will do so with the belief that he can lead the Broncos in 2024.

"I'm very confident that I can be the guy for us next year," Stidham said. "I have no doubts about that. But I'm going to continue to work as hard as possible this offseason and learn as much as possible. I'm excited for the opportunity, for sure."

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