Two years ago, first-round quarterback Paxton Lynch was the potential future franchise quarterback. Now, he’s the current target for Broncos fans boo birds.
“I feel bad for Paxton, but our fans want to win,” coach Vance Joseph told reporters after the game regarding the booing. “That’s what it’s about. It’s about passion, I should say. But I feel bad for Paxton. He has to ignore it and go play. It’s professional football. No one is going to hold your hand, so he has to go out there and perform.”
The booing caps a bad week for Lynch, one that began with the third-year player getting the news that, for the third straight year, he has fallen behind a seventh-round draft pick on the depth chart.
“When I first got the news, I was pretty upset about it because I know how hard I work, I know how bad I want to play and I know how much this means to me,” Lynch told reporters after Saturday’s game against the Bears. “Sometimes you go through tough tests just to take you to a whole other level. I’m taking it that way and working my butt off. I’m just working hard and trying to get that opportunity and just play well. You come out here and sometimes it doesn’t go your way and you get frustrated, but you can’t because you have to keep moving forward.”
So what has he been told to do to turn things around?
“Nothing specifically, I just haven’t been playing well,” Lynch said. “That’s not acceptable, especially playing quarterback here, you’ve got to play well and give your team an opportunity to win every week.”
He desire has been undeterred by his current predicament.
“I want to be the [starting] quarterback,” Lynch said. “I don’t want to be a backup and I definitely don’t want to be third-string quarterback. The cards have been dealt to this point in time and I’m not quitting. I’ll never quit, my mom never quit, my dad never quit, my brother never quit, I’m never going to quit and I’m working hard.”
They say hard work is its own reward, and that ultimately may be all Lynch has to show for his efforts, especially if the Broncos end up acquiring the eventual No. 2 quarterback from another team or from the pool of free agents. Unless the Broncos plan to carry four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, Lynch will be the odd man out, with his consolation prize being another $1.9 million in guaranteed money over the next two years.