“I grew tremendously. I got better this preseason. Now it’s Peyton’s turn to go out there and lead us.”
Brock Osweiler is back on the sidelines of the NFL, entering his second season with the highly touted Denver Broncos under the tutelage of two all-time greats, Peyton Manning and John Elway. The 6-foot-7 quarterback from Kalispell has cemented his place as the Broncos’ No. 2 passer behind Manning, and he appears to still be on track to fulfill expectations that he’s the heir apparent in Denver.
The Broncos enter the season as favorites to reach the Super Bowl and begin their championship pursuit Sept. 5 against Baltimore.
Barring any unexpected injuries to Manning, Brock is destined to hold a clipboard this season. But that’s been the plan from the start. When the Broncos drafted the young Arizona State University quarterback in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Elway and other team officials made it clear that he was a work-in-progress; a pupil who could take over the starting job in a few years.
The learning process is underway. Brock saw the most action of his short NFL career this preseason. He received buzz after arriving at summer camp showing noticeable growth and improvement. In Denver’s first preseason game, against San Francisco, Brock shined, completing 13 of 18 passes for 105 yards. The Broncos won 10-6.
The next game was more troublesome. He completed 9 of 14 passes for 66 yards, but threw an interception and was sacked four times. Seattle whipped Denver 40-10. Against St. Louis on Aug. 24, Brock took the field in the second half and guided Denver to a 27-26 comeback victory. He threw for 89 yards on nine-of-15 passing with an interception, but put the Broncos in scoring position for two running touchdowns and a field goal in the third and fourth quarters.
In the Broncos’ final preseason game, against Arizona on Aug. 29, Osweiler played only in the first half and completed 7 of 11 passes for 108 yards, including a 45-yarder to former Arizona State teammate Gerell Robinson.
“This year I’m way more comfortable with the total package,” he said after Thursday’s game. “I understand our protections … Last year I knew that on a small scale.”
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