Trevor Siemian had perhaps the most unenviable task in football this past season: taking over for Peyton Manning and the defending Super Bowl champions.
But Siemian, 25, wasn’t nervous or scared. If anything, he was a kid in a candy store.
“It was fun,” the Broncos quarterback said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I had a blast. That was my first time going through everything, and the first thing I kind of thought was, ‘Man, this season is long.’ But it was great. I had fun the whole way through.”
Denver started 4-0 but lost seven of 12 down the stretch to finish 9-7.
Despite the late-season struggles, despite taking over for Manning, Siemian, who starred at Northwestern, still had fun.
“I did,” he said. “I think the big part of that is the locker room we got. Obviously I haven’t been anywhere else, but we got some funny dudes in our locker room. We got some great guys. I was fortunate to play for Coach Kubs (Kubiak) and that staff. Those were good dudes as well. So I’ve had a blast. I’ve been really lucky the whole way through.”
Siemian was a seventh-round pick in 2015 and learned from Manning during the Broncos’ Super Bowl season.
“It was a lot of work, especially for me keeping up my first year,” Siemian said. “That was my first exposure to pro ball, and then you bring in Peyton to the equation. There’s a jump to pro ball, and then there’s a jump to keeping up with Peyton Manning. Brock had been around Peyton for a couple years, and that’s how that meeting room was run. Me being a seventh-round pick, nobody was waiting up for me in there. I did my best to keep up.”
Siemian said that Manning took him under his wing a bit.
“He did,” Siemian said. “I think early on I was more watching. That’s what I tried to do was just watch him. He was plenty busy enough, but even this past year, he helped me a ton. I talked to him quite a bit. I’m really fortunate to know Peyton.”
Siemian completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. In January, he had elective surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder to relieve some discomfort.
“I’m good,” he said. “I’m not getting under the bench press anytime soon, but I’m good. I had surgery about three weeks ago, and I got three more weeks in this thing, this sling I got. But I’m fine. I’ll be ready for OTAs. Just a little struggle right now.”