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Broncos, operating on their own timetable, won’t rush QB decision

John Elway doesn’t care about your windows.

“No. I don’t believe in windows,” he said flatly before pondering the notion further. “So you’re telling me we can take a couple years off if our window closes on the defensive side? Everyone talks about those windows but I don’t because we’re trying to do it every year and obviously in my position I have to look two and three and four years out. But our goal hasn’t changed. It’s to be competitive year in and year out.”

Elway, who on Monday signed on for five more years of retooling and reconfiguring the Broncos’ path to another Super Bowl, has no concern for everyone else’s timetables and never has.

For the second consecutive offseason, the most important position on the field remains unanswered for the Broncos as Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch engage in yet another battle for the starting job. Questions about the decision that will continue to loom over Dove Valley this summer have been asked and asked again and then spun into other inquiries — about the defense’s proverbial window, about the offense’s continuing transition, about players’ potential, about finding their quarterback for now and four years from now.

The uncertainty has had a ripple effect. But few inside the Broncos’ headquarters seem concerned about the noise building outside their walls.

“I’m not concerned about time. In my opinion, time allows for a fair competition,” coach Vance Joseph said. “Time allows for both guys to put their best foot forward. And time allows for us to make a sound decision. So I’m not concerned about time. I think time is a good thing with this deal. It’s a huge deal for our football team. It’s a huge deal for those two guys. So to rush a decision without being sure makes no sense for everyone involved. So I’m not concerned about time. I want the best guy for this football team.”

The disregard of time is really a regard for the future. Joseph, as well as Elway, said they believe the decision will be made without their final whistle. Separation between the two quarterbacks will be evident to all when preseason games begin.

Last year, the competition between veteran Mark Sanchez and Siemian was called after the third preseason game. By then it had become clear the least-likely candidate had moved into first.

Poll the Broncos receivers, though, and they’d vote for a decision to made before the second preseason game if not sooner — an ambitious if unrealistic ask.

Before the third preseason game, against the Green Bay Packers in Denver, could be a fair compromise.

“That would be ideal,” Joseph admitted.

But he won’t bank on it.

“It’s going to separate itself,” he added. “Someone is going to show that they’re the best man for our team. And when he does, I’ll call it off.”

Until then, he has a plan for pushing the process along.

Wednesday, veterans reported and all were required to take a conditioning test of 10 40-yard dashes. A first for many of the team’s most-tenured players. In camp, Joseph will split the first-team reps evenly between quarterbacks Siemian and Lynch. Day 1 on Thursday will belong to Siemian. Day 2 will be Lynch’s. The pair will rotate daily and in certain drills, ensuring both receive equal time to audition.

The criteria — like the timetable — isn’t spelled out because it doesn’t need to be the second time around. But many will have a say in the decision, including five former quarterbacks in Joseph, Elway, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave and even recently hired senior personnel advisor, Gary Kubiak.

Eric Studesville, the Broncos’ running backs coach who added the title of assistant head coach during the offseason, will likely weigh in, too.

“Ultimately, it’s Vance’s choice. I’m going to give my opinion,” Elway said. “But even though you may think there are a lot of different opinions, there’s really not. I believe the quarterback position — everyone’s going to see it. To me, it’s going to show up.”

And until it does, the Broncos will stay on their own clock, focused on both now and later.

“Anytime you go from a Hall of Famer in Peyton Manning, you’re going to go through some transition on the offensive side that’s going to take some time,” Elway said. “But I like where we’re going with the quarterback position with Trevor and Paxton. I like the possibilities there.”

About Michel Cooper

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