ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos have a new coaching staff and a new offense, but the starting quarterback competition has a familiar feel.
Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch are again battling to lead the Broncos’ offense, this time under coach Vance Joseph. The two were on the field Tuesday for the start of a three-day minicamp, which gave Joseph a chance to see them in action for the first time.
“It’s going to be a long battle,” Joseph said. “Both guys are in it. They’re both working very hard, and both guys are here every day, and that’s important.”
Siemian, a seventh-round draft pick in 2015, won the job last year over Lynch and veteran Mark Sanchez. He played the bulk of the season with a left shoulder injury that required offseason surgery, but he said he is fully recovered.
He looked sharp throwing at the beginning of Tuesday’s practice, hitting receivers on short and intermediate routes during the media availability.
“All along, the plan was I’d get back in time for this,” he said. “I didn’t anticipate missing any time.”
Siemian passed for 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 14 starts last season after winning the job in training camp. Denver traded up to take Lynch 26th overall in the 2016 draft, but he didn’t have the impact of other quarterbacks taken in the first round last year.
He feels more comfortable this spring after playing unevenly in three games -- two starts -- as a rookie.
“I knew my way around a little bit more compared to last year,” Lynch said. “I just got here, and everything was kind of moving a million miles an hour. I’ve been around the guys for a year. It’s a new coaching staff, a new playbook, but the fact that you’ve been around these teammates for a year and get to know them on and off the field, it’s a little easier.”
Joseph has said he will use the next three months to evaluate his two quarterbacks, who figure to be the only ones competing for the job, unless Denver picks a quarterback in the upcoming draft. Joseph liked what he saw out of the pair in their first time running the basics of the new offense.
“They both did a great job of communicating in the huddle,” he said. “They threw the ball well -- both guys did. Outside of that, it’s tough. It’s the first day, it’s the first install, but they were very engaged and threw the ball well.”
Running back C.J. Anderson was also on the field for the first time since he hurt his right knee against the Houston Texans on Oct. 24. Anderson said he is close to full strength and was doing some cutting during Tuesday’s practice.
“It’s close. It’s really, really close,” he said. “I’m out here running full-speed, as much as I can -- something I haven’t been able to since October. It’s really close, and I’m excited with the progress.”
Anderson had surgery to repair the meniscus in the knee and finished the season on injured reserve. He said he worked hard to get his weight down to 223 pounds, close to his ideal playing weight, and is not wearing a brace.
“I made sure I worked hard enough to put no brace on," he said. "I don’t want to be walking around like a robot.”