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Broncos name Trevor Siemian starting quarterback

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Trevor Siemian, a former seventh-round pick, will start at quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champions when the season opens.

The Denver Broncos announced Monday that Siemian will be the starter in the Super Bowl rematch with the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 8.

Siemian started the third preseason game, which intimated he was in line for the regular-season start, with veteran Mark Sanchez sitting the entire contest.

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak praised Siemian throughout summer workouts, noting the second-year player's grasp of the offense and mental acumen.

"It's tough to make it about me right now," Siemian said. "We've got a special group and a great offense."

Through three preseason games, the Northwestern product has looked steady, if unspectacular, guiding the Broncos' offense. The 6-foot-3 quarterback stands tall and maneuvers the pocket well, has the athleticism to run Kubiak's bootleg offense and has enough arm to make throws into tight windows.

Siemian completed 27 of 43 preseason passes in three preseason contests -- two starts -- for a 62.8 percent completion rate, one touchdown pass and two picks.

Fun fact from NFL Media research: the last Northwestern QB to start in Week 1 was Otto Graham in Week 1, 1955.

Kubiak is clearly comfortable with Siemian's ability to run the offense and not turn the ball over. As they displayed in their Super Bowl run, the Broncos have the ground game, receiving weapons and defense to buoy below-average quarter play, so long as the signal-caller takes care of the ball.

Two main questions now remain:

1) What becomes of Mark Sanchez?

It appears his rollercoaster play and knack for turnovers cost the former first-round pick another starting gig. While he was the only quarterback on the roster to make an NFL start, Kubiak went with the younger player he trusted more to take care of the ball.

If Sanchez can't beat out a seventh round pick, second-year player with no experience, he'll likely never get another full-time gig. The Broncos could ask Sanchez to take a pay cut to remain on the roster. Or John Elway could cut him outright to save the money and the conditional draft pick he shipped to Philadelphia for Sanchez.

2) How long will Siemian fend off Paxton Lynch?

It was clear in the preseason that Lynch owns by far the most talent of any Broncos quarterback, he just needs seasoning. Lynch has a huge arm -- one of the strongest in the entire NFL -- and unique athleticism. He can be a difference maker in Kubiaks offense in time. If Siemian stumbles, will Kubiak have confidence Lynch's talent will outweigh his inexperience?

Lynch is the future in Denver. We've thought all offseason the first-round pick could play at some point this year, the question will be how early will he get a shot?

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