ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The long wait is almost over.
It's time for Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch to settle the quarterback competition.
Months of discussion will give way to action Thursday as the Broncos open training camp, and Head Coach Vance Joseph knows it's nearly time to make a decision about his starting quarterback.
"It's here," said Joseph on Wednesday at the Broncos' annual media barbecue. "So [a decision is] going to happen fairly quickly. It's not like we're in the spring and I'm telling you guys it [hasn't] even started yet. It's here. It's started. It's weeks away. How many weeks? I don't know. But it's weeks away. It has to be."
Joseph said the team would ideally like to name a starter before Denver plays Green Bay in the third week of the preseason, but he is content to wait until the competition plays itself out.
"I'm not concerned about time," Joseph said. "In my opinion, time allows for a fair competition. Time allows for both guys to put the best foot forward, and time allows for us to make a sound decision. So I'm not concerned about time. I think time is a good thing with this deal.
"It's a huge deal for our football team, it's a huge deal for those two guys. So to rush a decision without being sure makes no sense for everyone involved. So I'm not concerned about time. I want the best guy for this football team."
As Joseph looks for Lynch or Siemian to emerge, he will again alternate repetitions between the first-round draft pick and the 2016 starter, respectively.
Siemian will lead the first unit as camp begins Thursday; Lynch will guide that group on Friday. On a daily basis, however, fans will likely see Lynch or Siemian shift between the first and second units.
"Trevor starts out Thursday, Paxton starts out Friday, but inside of practice, it may be Paxton with the first team doing 7-on-7," Joseph said. "It may be Trevor doing first team with the move-the-ball drill. It's going to be equally divided."
That division will also allow the Broncos' skill players to develop chemistry with both Siemian and Lynch, Joseph said. So while he understands some of his players hope the competition wraps up in the near future, he's not worried about limiting his offense's growth or risking a slow start.
As the competition continues under center, Joseph expects the rest of his team to focus on essential individual improvement.
"It does matter what the players think, because it's their football team," Joseph said. "But it's my job and the staff's job to find the best guy for the job. And again, the quarterback competition should not deter guys from doing their job. If you're a receiver, do your job no matter who's the quarterback. And in most camps, most of the receivers, backs, O-line -- they're playing with both guys. It should not matter to the players outside of Paxton and Trevor."
Soon enough, though, everyone will have their answer about which player will lead the Broncos onto the field against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11.
"It's going to separate itself," Joseph said. "Someone's going to show that they're the best man for our team, and when it does, I'll call it off."