Paxton Lynch climbed his way from third on the Denver Broncos’ depth chart to starting two games as a replacement for starter Trevor Siemian. And as the Broncos have changed head coaches going into his second season, Lynch, entering his second season, says he’ll have every chance to win the starting job outright.
“From what I’ve head, that’s how it’s going to be,” Lynch told Shutdown Corner this weekend by phone. “Hearing Coach Vance [Joseph] talk, when he first came in, that’s what it’s going to be like. I think it was that way last year, too, but … I wasn’t really sure [what his chances were].”
Of course, plenty of rumors have floated about the Broncos’ potential interest in Tony Romo, or other veteran QBs who could be on the market. But Lynch has not invested in those now and is going off what he has heard from the new staff to this point: that he’ll get his chance.
“When it comes time to put in the work, I am going to give myself every opportunity to play because I believe I’ll have that opportunity,” he said. “And Trevor will have the chance to beat me, too. It should be a great competition with the two of us … until something changes, which I have no idea it will.”
Although Lynch hasn’t sat down with his his new head coach or offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, he has spoken to both on the phone. Lynch says he’s excited that both men are former college quarterbacks — Joseph at Colorado (he also played running back and defensive back), and McCoy at Utah — and have that perspective, one that Lynch says is the right mentality to lead the Broncos with a QB-friendly system.
“It’s exciting to have coaches who have been there, who know what the QBs go through,” Lynch said.
McCoy has worked previously with a wide gamut of quarterbacks with varying skills, from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning to Philip Rivers. One of McCoy’s hallmarks has been his ability to shape and mold his offenses well to the strengths of the personnel, especially at quarterback. For Lynch, who is atypical with his blend of height (6-foot-7), athleticism, arm strength but also limited experience in a pro system, having a coach who can work with that blend of traits could be a big edge.
“That’s a huge advantage, I think,” Lynch said. “You always like to work with coaches who can adapt to the players they have, instead of just learning a system. Coach [Gary] Kubiak had a system, too, but he was also very good about making the right adjustments. That’s huge.”
Kubiak stepping down surprised Lynch, just as it did most of the Broncos; he heard it from his father who saw a news report come across the screen and called Lynch on his way to the stadium before the Broncos’ Week 17 game against the Oakland Raiders. Lynch is trying not to let the change affect his optimism, even though this will be his third different head coach and offensive system to learn in three years, dating back to his final year at Memphis.
Lynch plans to be in Orlando in February to start ramping up his training for the OTAs and minicamps to come. He’ll be working with the same group, D1 Sports Training, that he trained with prior to the draft last year before returning to Denver. With so little wear and tear on his body in a shortened season, Lynch said he’s ready to go even with the mental grind that comes with absorbing an NFL playbook and enduring his first coaching change.
This weekend, Lynch joined fellow NFL rookies in Los Angeles at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, talking to players about transitioning to the league and preparing for the scouting combine. He and several other 2016 rookies are working with Panini Gridiron on their digital trading card app and signing their rookie cards prior to the game.
“We’ve been signing trading cards and promoting the game, and it has been a blast,” Lynch said.
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