4th year pro Brock Osweiler remains Peyton Manning’s apprentice and heir apparent

By Arnie Stapleton


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. _ Brock Osweiler honeymooned in the Caribbean this off-season, and the Denver Broncos renewed their vows with Peyton Manning’s backup over the weekend.

As expected, John Elway drafted a quarterback, something he’s done three times since he signed Manning in 2012.

However, seventh-rounder Trevor Siemian of Northwestern is more of a threat to third-stringer Zac Dysert than he is to Osweiler.

In bypassing Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley in the middle rounds, the Broncos general manager confirmed his faith in Osweiler, his second-round pick out of Arizona State in 2012.

Osweiler is entering the fourth and final year of his contract still waiting for his chance. He has thrown just 30 passes with one touchdown while backing up Manning, who has guided Denver to the playoffs in all three of his seasons in Colorado.

Osweiler’s selection with the 57th overall pick in 2012 just weeks after Manning came to town remains one of Elway’s most hotly debated decisions.

To Elway, that’s the head-scratcher.

Asked if he considered drafting a quarterback in the second or third rounds of the draft, Elway paused for a few seconds, smiled and said, “Uh, no, we didn’t.”

The Broncos, he said, had their hearts set on Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman in the third round even with Petty and Hundley still on the board.

“We still believe in Brock,” Elway would say later, adding, “Everybody wants to kick Brock to the curb. We drafted him for a reason.”

And that was to serve as Manning’s apprentice and heir apparent, which he remains.

Elway called Osweiler “perfect for this offence,” one in which the quarterback is often on the move in new coach Gary Kubiak’s zone scheme.

“And he’s got all the intangibles,” Elway added.

He said Osweiler’s contract situation has no bearing on his standing in Denver and will be addressed in due time.

Although Manning said he doesn’t view this as a farewell season, he also takes a year-to-year approach to his career at age 39. He contemplated retirement over the winter before deciding to return for an 18th season and agreeing to a $4 million pay cut.

Like Dysert, a seventh-rounder in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Siemian is a project.

“The guy technique-wise is pretty good. He can throw the ball really well. He’s got a good, quick release. He knows the game,” Elway said.

Siemian’s stats don’t stand out: Splitting snaps for the Wildcats, he threw for 27 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in four years.

“Obviously, if his numbers were a lot better, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get him there,” Elway said.

Siemian will sit out the Broncos’ rookie minicamp this weekend. He’s still a month out in his recovery from a torn ACL that occurred in his final college game.


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