But Sanchez is probably the early favorite to be under center for the regular-season opener against the Carolina Panthers. Siemian and Lynch have zero NFL passes between them. Sanchez has 72 starts, 15,126 yards and 86 touchdowns. A rebuilding team might ride with one of the young guys. The defending Super Bowl champs might not be so bold.
Sanchez’s experience is his edge. He talked about knowing when to give his teammates some extra reminders in the huddle, in pressing situations like third down or inside the red zone, or how to instill confidence in everyone. He joked about trying to be a leader in the huddle his rookie season with the New York Jets (“My first year was a good acting job, I felt like, because half the time I didn’t know what was going on,” he said) but he’s more comfortable with it after six NFL seasons. He’s seen it all by now.
“He doesn’t seem to get rattled out here,” Broncos receiver Bennie Fowler said. “I love the way he’s playing.”
Sanchez has been a starting quarterback in New York and Philadelphia, so he has felt pressure before. Nothing about Sanchez’s ever-optimistic demeanor indicates he’s bothered by this latest challenge.
“It’s almost like someone who has had that near-death experience and now nothing phases them,” Sanchez said. “You just have a different perspective and a different outlook. Once you’ve been through that fire a little bit, you’re hardened. Calloused, in ways. I think that’s good.”
Sanchez probably won’t have much room for error. First-round picks at quarterback don’t take redshirt seasons anymore.
In 2005, first-round rookie quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Jason Campbell didn’t start a game. From 2006 through last year, 24 quarterbacks were picked in the first round. Twenty-two of the 24 started at least one game as a rookie. Jake Locker in 2011 and Brady Quinn in 2007 were the only exceptions. If Lynch doesn’t get a shot this year, it’s an anomaly.
Lynch isn’t a threat to start yet. He’s still wildly inconsistent. On Wednesday, Lynch’s accuracy was all over the place. There’s a reason he finished OTAs third on the depth chart and is still there. He needs some work, which isn’t uncommon for a rookie.
The Dallas Cowboys spent all of last season churning through injured and ineffective quarterbacks. 2016 is off to a similar start.
With backup passer Kellen Moore expected to be out three to four months with the broken ankle he suffered on Tuesday, the ‘Boys already have eyes for the league’s most available veteran passer: Nick Foles.
“It really seems they’re going to have to take a hard look at the veteran quarterback market, and the name to watch is Nick Foles,” NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday on NFL Network, per team sources. “There is legitimate interest. I’m told the Cowboys — that would be the name if they are going to bring in a backup.”
NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported that Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones has talked to Foles agent. The Cowboys are one of a handful of teams interested in Foles and there’s a chance he could sign with a team as early as Wednesday, Garafolo added.