Kubiak holds off on naming starting QB for preseason opener
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Gary Kubiak was expected to announce his starting quarterback Tuesday morning for Denver's preseason opener. The Broncos coach instead dragged out the drama another 24 hours.
The biggest question at Broncos training camp - who is the No. 1 quarterback - is still unanswered. Kubiak and his staff are deliberating whether veteran Mark Sanchez or Trevor Siemian will start at Chicago on Thursday night, with a decision now expected Wednesday.
''I'm holding y'all off for one more day,'' Kubiak said.
Sanchez and Siemian are listed as co-No. 1s on the depth chart as neither has shown himself as the clear-cut starter for the Super Bowl champions.
Kubiak said he would meet later Tuesday with his staff to decide who would take the first offensive snap Thursday. He said the game plan is to play Sanchez and Siemian a quarter each, and to have rookie Paxton Lynch play the second half against the Bears.
''What we want to do is put a number on reps and what we want to see from each one of them so that from an evaluation standpoint we're looking at things pretty equally,'' Kubiak said. ''That's the most important thing right now.''
Sanchez, in his eighth year, said the competition is healthy.
''I'm not worried about it,'' Sanchez said. ''It's whenever Kubiak is ready to decide. It's his call all the way and we just have to keep competing for the whole season. It doesn't really matter what happens here.''
The Broncos traded for Sanchez after Peyton Manning retired in March and Brock Osweiler signed with Houston two days later. Siemian, Denver's third quarterback for most of 2015, impressed in offseason workouts to make training camp a quarterback competition.
Siemian served as the backup for six games last year when Manning was hurt. He played in one game without throwing a pass. He is more familiar with the offense this year and says his comfort level has grown.
''I was pretty nervous last year. I wasn't getting a ton of reps,'' he said. ''I was trying to get a grasp of the playbooks. In that sense, I think I'm a little more comfortable, as in I know my assignments. I know where my eyes need to go. There's a sense of, `I know what I'm doing.'''
Kubiak did say linebacker Von Miller, cornerback Aqib Talib and offensive tackle Russell Okung would not play. Defensive end DeMarcus Ware is on the non-football injury/illness list.
Talib returned to practice Monday and increased his workload Tuesday, but he is not ready to play Thursday.
Miller said he is physically ready to play, but his mental conditioning is not there yet. Miller had a busy offseason that included tough contract negotiations and several TV and public appearances following his MVP performance in Super Bowl 50.
''Whenever you take a break from football it's a process to get back to the game speed that I want to play at,'' he said. ''I'm right there, I'm ready to go, but the Von I know I can be and I want to be, I'm not there yet. A week or two I should be all right.''
Kubiak isn't worried about Miller or the other veterans not playing Thursday because he said the game is about the backups and getting to hit another team.
''We're tired of each other,'' he said. ''We've been going at each other for a long time. It's time to go with each other.''
NOTES: Kubiak said OL Ty Sambrailo (elbow) is working out and being evaluated on a week-to-week basis. ... Rookie WR Kalif Raymond will get a majority of the returns on special teams Thursday. ... S Ryan Murphy (hamstring) was held out of practice. Murphy was signed Monday. ... CB Taurean Nixon was limited in Tuesday's practice. ... C James Ferentz (knee) and WR Jordan Taylor (groin) returned to practice and are expected to play against the Bears.
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