ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On July 14, Trevor Siemian stepped out of the catacombs of a Dick's Sporting Goods in Lakewood, Colo., and into the light of a display area in front of a dozen youngsters. Amid a dizzying array of shoes, shirts and athletic gear, he arrived to take the children on a shopping spree.
The children looked up at him. One gazed at the third-year quarterback, saying with reverent awe, "Trevor Siemian!"
Another was not so impressed.
"Why didn't you get Von Miller?" he asked.
Even at a charitable event, Siemian gets no respect. Never mind the fact that his 84.6 passer rating last year ranked him 19th all-time among the 109 first- or second-year quarterbacks with at least 350 attempts in his first season as a starter, or that his plus-eight touchdown-to-interception margin was tied for 17th.
Respect outside of Denver Broncos headquarters seems to elude Siemian, who will go into training camp splitting first-team repetitions with second-year passer Paxton Lynch. Siemian did just enough last year to give himself another chance to earn the starting role, but not enough to hold off Lynch and be handed the job with a new coaching staff and offensive scheme putting the two quarterbacks on even terms.
"It's a clean slate for all of us," he said. "That's how I'm approaching it."
That means absorbing a new scheme -- and plenty of studying to get up to speed. Although Siemian spent part of his downtime vacationing in Ireland, he also spent time studying his iPad playbook. He re-watched every snap of OTAs and minicamp, not only to study the offense -- but to try and find weaknesses in the defense.
"I watched all the OTAs, all the reps," Siemian said. "It's a relatively new scheme for all of us, so we're still kind of ironing everything out. But I just went back through and watched everything. I watched how our defense is playing, too, because they've got some tweaks."
It might only be practice that begins on July 27, but because it's a full-scale quarterback competition, Siemian knows he has to treat it like the regular season if he wants the job. Broncos head coach Vance Joseph wants to name a quarterback as soon as he sees one of the two passers get separation.
If Siemian can do that, earn the starting job and succeed in the role, maybe next time he'll be the player that kids want to meet.
TOP THREE TRAINING CAMP GOALS
--Choose a starting quarterback. Wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both expressed their wishes that the Broncos would have selected a starting quarterback by this point, but head coach Vance Joseph plans to keep the competition open until either Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian emerges. Joseph would rather see one of them break away by succeeding, but it's possible that one of the two quarterbacks could lose the job, as was the case last year when a spate of giveaways in practice and the preseason by Mark Sanchez effectively handed Siemian the starting role.
--Pick a starting left tackle. Ty Sambrailo and first-round pick Garett Bolles split the first-team repetitions during minicamp in June. It seems like only a matter of time before Bolles gets the job outright, but Broncos head coach Vance Joseph has repeatedly emphasized that he wants the No. 20 overall selection to earn the job, and not have it handed to him.
--Settle on a primary tight end. 2015 third-round pick Jeff Heuerman is finally healthy and could be an all-around option. A.J. Derby, a converted college quarterback acquired in a midseason trade with New England last year, is a potentially dependable pass catcher who is a raw blocker. Seventh-year veteran Virgil Green is a dependable blocker, but hasn't done much with his chances as a pass-catching target. But any or all of them could just be keeping the seat warm for rookie Jake Butt while he completes his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in last December's Orange Bowl.
PROJECTED CAMP DEPTH CHART
QUARTERBACKS: Starter - Trevor Siemian. Backups - Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly, Kyle Sloter.
TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- A.J. Derby. Backups - Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman, Jake Butt, Henry Krieger-Coble, Steven Scheu, Austin Traylor.
WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters - Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders. Backups - Bennie Fowler, Jordan Taylor, Cody Latimer, Marlon Brown, Carlos Henderson, Isaiah McKenzie, Kalif Raymond, Hunter Sharp, Anthony Nash.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - LT Ty Sambrailo, LG Max Garcia, C Matt Paradis, RG Ron Leary, RT Menelik Watson. Backups - LT Garett Bolles, C/G Connor McGovern, G/T Michael Schofield, RT Donald Stephenson, G Billy Turner, C Dillon Day, G Chris Muller, T Justin Murray, T Cedrick Lang, T Elijah Wilkinson.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - DE Derek Wolfe, NT Domata Peko, DE Jared Crick. Backups - DE Zach Kerr, DE Billy Winn, NT Kyle Peko, DE Adam Gotsis, DE DeMarcus Walker, NT Tyrique Jarrett, DE Shakir Soto, DE Shelby Harris.
LINEBACKERS: Starters - OLB Von Miller, OLB Shane Ray, ILB Brandon Marshall, ILB Todd Davis. Backups - OLB Shaquil Barrett, OLB Vontarrius Dora, OLB Kasib Edebali, ILB Zaire Anderson, ILB Corey Nelson, OLB Ken Ekanem, ILB Josh Banderas, ILB Jerrol Garcia-Williams, ILB Kevin Snyder, ILB Quentin Gause, ILB Deon Hollins.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters - CB Chris Harris Jr., CB Aqib Talib, FS Darian Stewart, SS T.J. Ward. Backups - CB Bradley Roby, CB Lorenzo Doss, FS Justin Simmons, SS Will Parks, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, CB Brendan Langley, FS Orion Stewart, SS Jamal Carter, CB Dontrell Nelson, CB Marcus Rios, FS Dante Barnett, SS Dymonte Thomas.
SPECIAL TEAMS: K Brandon McManus, P Riley Dixon, LS Casey Kreiter, KOR Carlos Henderson, PR Isaiah McKenzie.