ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As Trevor Siemian waited to hear Head Coach Vance Joseph deliver the news, he felt confident in his progression as a quarterback.
That didn't mean Siemian knew Joseph would hand him the starting job. Rather, the third-year quarterback was at ease with the ways in which he improved during the months-long competition.
"I was proud of the body of work I put together going back to the end of last season, OTAs and camp," Siemian said, "so [I] just felt good where I was as a player."
Joseph and the rest of the Broncos' brass felt similarly, and they made it official Monday as Siemian was tabbed to lead the team in 2017.
For the better part of a year, Siemian has shown that improvement – and he's done so under a variety of circumstances. The Northwestern product has won two consecutive quarterback competitions under two different head coaches, with two different playbooks.
But the former seventh-round pick doesn't hold a secret that allowed him to earn the job over Mark Sanchez in 2016 and vs. Paxton Lynch in 2017.
"I think I really just worried about myself and improving," Siemian said. "I got a shot coming [out of college], and for me that's all I needed. But I think I've grown a lot as a player. And going back, even OTAs when I came in, I said, 'I want to get better at these certain things and see where it takes me.' And I think if I did those, everything would kind of work itself out."
Indeed, Siemian finds himself in a situation where he's poised for success alongside an improved offensive line, star wide receivers, a deep running back corps and a defense that is as powerful as ever.
And now that he's earned the starting job — a nod that Head Coach Vance Joseph called a "permanent decision" — he'll look to take a hold on the position that lasts longer than a single season.
At this point in his career, Siemian said he thinks that's a step he can take.
"I hope so," Siemian said. "I think I can. I've got a long way to go. I know where I can get better. I also know some of the things that I do, do well.
"For me, even going back to when I came in the league, I've tried to do a good job of taking it one day at a time and one rep at a time and at the end of the season I'll go back and figure out where I'm at and go from there."
As he looks to improve, Siemian said he knows he'll turn to the "really bright football minds" inside UCHealth Training Center. In addition to Quarterbacks Coach Bill Musgrave, he has Joseph, Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy and President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway at his disposal.
Siemian realizes that sort of resource isn't always available to young quarterbacks, and he also valued the time he spent with former head coach Gary Kubiak, former offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and former quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp.
"Peyton [Manning]'s obviously the one everybody asks me about," Siemian said, "but I've been around a lot of smart guys and smart coaches and I just try to take advantage of that."
Manning did help Siemian in at least one way, even after he was gone. When the 2016 season ended and Elway and Joseph declared an open competition at quarterback, Siemian could have adopted an irritated attitude.
His first season as a starter ended with 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and an invitation to the Pro Bowl as an alternate. Some quarterbacks would have been frustrated to be asked to compete after such a season.
Not Siemian, who took his cue from Manning's attitude during Siemian's rookie season of 2015.
"Honestly, I think you have to compete for your job every day, every week, and that's one of the things, when I was here and I watched Peyton, that guy wasn't content." Siemian said. "He was a Hall of Famer … but every day, every week, I think you've got to earn your job, and quarterback is no different, certainly."
To ever reach the NFL's elite quarterbacking level, Siemian knows what's necessary.
"Be around for a while, win a bunch of games, probably go to the playoffs, throw in a Super Bowl," said Siemian when asked what it would take to be recognized as a franchise quarterback. "That's what all those guys have."
At this point, though, Siemian is focused far less on career attributes than he is with the next step forward toward the regular season.
His start this weekend against Green Bay should give the offense a chance to jell, and he said the offense should continue the "good momentum" it's carried throughout the last couple months.
With Siemian settled into the No. 1 spot, the new continuity should only improve the offense's standing.
And as Siemian left his meeting with Joseph on Monday, that's what stood out most.
"[I'm] obviously very excited," Siemian said. "Really just excited about moving forward and playing this week and starting the season off. I think we've got a really special group.
"We've got a good team, and I'm excited to get to work."