ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Quarterbacks Trevor Siemian, Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch all spoke after practice and a weightlifting/conditioning session at the UCHealth Training Center on Wednesday.
Here's a few key notes from their question-and-answer sessions:
On a rainy Wednesday, the Broncos worked toward their preseason game against the Rams. (photos by Gabriel Christus)
- IT'S NOT ABOUT REPLACIN' PEYTON**
If you were just now walking in on the Broncos preseason and had no context and no knowledge of this summer's quarterback competition, the notion of possibly succeeding Peyton Manning with a former seventh-round pick who has never thrown a regular-season pass would seem unusual.
But to see Siemian every day in practice and witness his unruffled demeanor in the preseason is to know that the possibility can make sense. Siemian has been steady and shown improvement in practice at going through his progressions.
The impact of the potential Manning-to-Siemian transition is a hot topic among Broncos fans, of course. But Siemian says he hasn't given it much thought.
"I try not to read too much into anything for me and for the team," Siemian said. "It's just been getting better one day at a time."
And for whoever succeeds the record-smashing Manning at quarterback, that's the only way to handle the role without thinking of the enormity of what looms: Go one pass, one dropback, one snap at a time, and focus on yourself and the team, not the future Pro Football Hall of Famer that preceded you.
"The thing about replacing Peyton -- nobody is going to replace Peyton. Those shoes are a little too big to fill," Siemian said. "For me, I'm not reading too much into anything and trying to be the best teammate and leader I can be."
- SIEMIAN: TREATING EACH WEEK THE SAME**
One thing Siemian has discussed learning from Manning is about preparation, and that's one reason why he says his approach does not change just because he's starting.
"I think you've heard me say that last year I would try to act as if I were the starter each week, I think the only thing that's different is I'm getting reps with the ones," Siemian said. "I've tried since I've got in the building to act, get in the game plan like that and go through everything in my head as if I was starting.
"I think that's helped me get to this point."
Something else that has helped is in treating his practice repetitions like game-time ones. With a much broader sample size from practice than games, that work will prove equally crucial in formulating Head Coach Gary Kubiak's decision in the next week.
"They're all important to me, truthfully," he said. "Whatever reps I'm getting, I've tried to treat them as a game, whether it's the first two preseason games or out here in practice.
"That's been my approach the whole way through and I'm going to stick to it."
Although he was slightly hindered by his shoulder injury, he handled "about 80 percent" of his typical practice workload, Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. Kubiak expects Siemian to play Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams with no restrictions.
"If I'm playing, I won't be holding back," Siemian said.
- SANCHEZ: FOCUSED ON WHAT HE CAN CONTROL**
And that doesn't include the issue of whether he will be the Week 1 starter or not.
"That's out of my control," Sanchez said. "I have to go out and play as well as I can and then react to anything else. I have to keep competing and have fun playing ball like I am."
The most pertinent question is when Sanchez will play against the Rams on Saturday. Kubiak said that he planned to decide on the order in which Sanchez and Paxton Lynch will follow Siemian at the end of the week.
Whenever he enters, he knows he must do so mentally unencumbered by the giveaways of the previous two games.
"You have to go play free," he said. "Go play free and have fun. Trust your preparation, trust your experience and remember that we're playing a game. Have a good time, don't be afraid to smile and get after it. Go lead those guys."
- LYNCH: WITH WORK, "IT COMES MORE NATURALLY"**
At OTAs, Lynch admitted he sometimes had trouble relaying the play calls in the huddle. That is no longer the case, and now Lynch's comfort with the scheme has grown to where he says he can rattle off a play run by another quarterback.
"There are times, whenever I can go out here, [Quarterbacks Coach/Passing Game Coordinator Greg] Knapp will read off the script and he'll read off the formation and I can finish the play sometimes. That was never happening [before]," Lynch said. "With guys like Trevor and Mark, it's easy for them to know what's going on and pick up things quickly. I'm a little behind them, but I definitely feel more comfortable when we put new stuff in. I can pick it up quicker and practice it faster as well."
That work, plus the experience he's gaining in adjusting to the speed and looks of pro defenses, explains why he feels the on-field work "comes more naturally to me" now than before. For Lynch, working against the No. 1 defense, as he has for much of this week, represents a teachable series of moments.
"Any work you can get with those guys on the other side of the ball is good work, even if you're on the scout team or if you're running with the ones," he said. "I know they give me opportunities to run with the scout team and throw 7-on-7 team stuff, even though you have to throw the ball just to give them a look sometimes, so you kind of force stuff and there's going to be turnovers. I think that definitely helps you adjust to the game and getting used to those reps against those guys."