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Mason's Mailbag: Trevor Siemian knows it's best to be himself

With Trevor being the only quarterback on the roster having played with Peyton Manning what kind of effect has that had on him this year? I don't see many people asking him if he is trying to use what he learned from Peyton?

-- Michael Borne

It's had some effect, particularly in showing Siemian the level of study and preparation one can reach. But Manning's standard is beyond that of any other quarterback that preceded him; he redefined the way in which quarterbacks can study the game, so Siemian is equally focused on being the best he can be with his own gifts and habits.

"I just try to be myself and spend a lot of time trying to learn by picking up the playbook," Siemian said during training camp. "I see how Peyton [Manning] and Brock [Osweiler] did things last year. I take some stuff from them, and I also work on being myself. There's obviously some stuff I need to get better at, so I'm taking it one day at a time."

And as Siemian does that, he knows he cannot focus on succeeding Manning and trying to match what he did. Manning retired with a treasure trove of league career and single-season records, and is the only quarterback to start and win two Super Bowls with different teams.

"The thing about replacing Peyton -- nobody is going to replace Peyton," Siemian said. "Those shoes are a little too big to fill. For me, I'm not reading too much into anything and trying to be the best teammate and leader I can be."

Better to let him not worry about following Manning. Instead, his focus is lasered on being the best Trevor Siemian he can be.


If Trevor Siemian plays well and avoids careless turnovers in the first few weeks do you  see Paxton Lynch taking over this year?**

-- Darrien Manker

If Siemian plays well, avoids turnovers and -- above all -- the team is winning, then he certainly could keep the job all season.

No matter who starts in Week 1, if the Broncos have a good record and are in playoff contention, I don't think you'll see a change unless it is blatantly obvious that quarterbacking mistakes are all that separates the Broncos from being even better.

And as always, Head Coach Gary Kubiak will make the call that he feels is best for the team -- and will use the knowledge gleaned over an adult lifetime spent playing quarterback and then coaching and working closely with quarterbacks. I doubt you can find anyone with better experience and instincts to make the call than someone with decades of wisdom and four world-championship rings on his fingers.

He's had a good summer, and certainly looks much more comfortable with the timing involved in running behind a zone-blocking-based scheme; he's hitting the holes at the right times far more often than not. But that being said, most of his work has come against second- and third-teamers, and Devontae Booker worked ahead of him Saturday against Los Angeles and throughout most of the last two weeks.

Still, if the Broncos have three tailbacks on the 53-man roster and use all of them on the game-day active 46-man roster, Hillman's speed and experience will be assets if he sticks on the roster.

The overall depth is above average, but the degree of it at each position varies. The Broncos' depth at running back, wide receiver, outside linebacker, inside linebacker and cornerback is outstanding. Each of those spots has at least one starting-caliber player in reserve -- and in the case of some, multiple starters. (Just look at OLB, where the official second-teamers, Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett, would be a quality starting tandem of bookend edge rushers on any team.) Safety depth could be good because Justin Simmons and Will Parks have shown exceptional promise, but let's see how they handle regular-season work first.

At defensive line, offensive line and tight end, the depth is average, but is already stretched thin. At each position, you could have an experienced contributor among the reserves -- Henry Melton, Michael Schofield and John Phillips, respectively. But there are more questions than answers, and the depth at all three positions has already been compromised by injuries -- Vance Walker, Ty Sambrailo and Jeff Heuerman, respectively.

Quarterback ... if you were grading the depth here, you'd have to call it incomplete, given the lack of regular-season experience for two of the three quarterbacks. That said, there's plenty of promise there.


What color uniform will you guys be wearing to open up against the Carolina Panthers?**

-- Grayson Morley

The Broncos will wear their typical home uniform of orange jerseys and white pants.

Mason, I understand the Broncos are obviously not gonna re-sign Omar Bolden, but with your football expertise where do you think he could land next? And do you think Knoshown Moreno can make a return in the NFL?

-- James Gurule

In both cases, you have knee problems that could prevent a return. Bolden's knee troubles date back to his career at Arizona State, and a knee injury ended his season last January. Moreno has talked about making a comeback, but at this point he has two ACL injuries and he hasn't played a regular-season snap in nearly two years. Nothing is impossible, but with younger, healthier players continuing to cascade into the league annually, the reality is that both players face odds that continue to grow.


The best shots from the Broncos preseason 17-9 win over the Los Angeles Rams. (Photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)

What do you think of a Shaquil Barrett or Shane Ray for La'el Collins trade? I heard that that the Cowboys were shopping La'el Collins, and I think it would be a win for both teams given that the Broncos need a better OL and the Cowboys need a pass rusher.**

-- Wesley Wong

"I heard that ..." ... those three words often mean a wild rumor will follow -- and I prefer to deal in facts. You could take a walk through one of Denver's many parks, find a penny on the ground, and it would be worth more than just about any rumor. As ESPN's Ed Werder reported, a Cowboys source said, "That's stupid," when the notion of trading Collins arose.

So they're not trading Collins.

Further, it would be unwise for the Broncos to trade a pass rusher when one starter, DeMarcus Ware, has dealt with back issues since last October and only came off the NFI list last week. Depth at edge rusher was a big reason why the Broncos won Super Bowl 50; they don't get there without the pass-rush contributions they received from Barrett and Ray while Ware missed five full games and parts of two others.

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The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.



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