John Elway's statement that the Denver Broncos had no "plan B" behind Peyton Manning, a quarterback coming off of a year layoff and four neck "procedures," raised some eyebrows. Coming out of the free-agent market with only Caleb Hanie showed that Elway was telling the truth.
That is, until the draft, when the Broncos found a plan B in the second round. B for Brock, to be specific.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that after spending OTAs, minicamp and the first training camp practice as the fourth-team quarterback, the second-round pick moved up to the third team on the second day of practice and the second team on the third day of practice. According to Klis, Osweiler had been showing "advanced acumen for the playbook and on-field reads for a rookie."
Osweiler saw it as the coaches "trying to push me, challenge me," and other than one ill-advised interception when he locked on to his receiver, Klis reports he kept his mistakes to a minimum.
This might seem foolhardy because Osweiler only has one full season of starting experience at the college level. It makes sense when you look at this competition, Hanie and Adam Weber. The Chicago Bears can testify to the direction a season is heading when Hanie is playing quarterback, and Weber isn't even clearly ahead of Hanie at this point.
The only reason to hold Osweiler back if Peyton Manning goes down is a fear of setting back his development by playing him too early in his career. That brings up the question, "Is your second-round pick really your quarterback of the future if he is so raw that you don't want him near the field in his rookie year?"
Obviously, the Broncos want this to be a full-fledged competition down to the very end of the preseason. Andrew Mason of CBS Sports reports that the team gave Weber second-team snaps on Sunday, meaning that all three quarterbacks have lined up with the second team after only four days of practices.
According to Mason, Fox said "We've got a 1 and then we've got a 2a, b and c."
The reality is that only one of those three quarterbacks is a plan A for the future. If that future arrives earlier than planned because of a Peyton Manning injury, the Broncos should be prepared to make Brock Osweiler their quarterback of the present.
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