What you did get was an emphasis on red-zone work, narrow windows through which to throw and a slow start for Siemian, who acknowledged it took two periods for him to shake off the rust from six weeks away.
"Hopefully, the No. 13 that rolls out of the locker room tomorrow is better than the (joker) that rolled out here today," Siemian said after practice. "That's really all I'm trying to do, and if I can make the big things small, which I've tried to do really since I got drafted, hopefully things will work out."
Neither quarterback threw an interception Thursday. But both found the going rough at times against a pass defense that led the league the past two seasons and looked to be in midseason form. The fact that the offense had to function in the compressed territory of the red zone only exacerbated matters.
"There's really tight throws, which is interesting getting back (for the first practice of camp)," Siemian said. "Usually you come back and you're in the first install and you're throwing to a bunch of green grass and kind of easing your way into it, but down there it's bang-bang, especially with our guys."
The quarterbacks' cause is helped by offensive coordinator Mike McCoy's new scheme, which offers plenty of underneath options and allows the quarterbacks to work more in the shotgun than they did last year. That helps Siemian, who worked in a spread offense at Northwestern, but it aids Lynch even more.
"Having the ability to come out here and get in the shotgun is something I'm way more used to than getting under the center," Lynch said.
And despite their occasional struggles Thursday, there were moments of promise. Siemian fired the ball into some tight windows, and Lynch showed good touch and placement on some passes into the end zone, particularly one he dropped into C.J. Anderson's grasp.
"Both guys were in command of the huddle," Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. "Their communication was pretty sharp; the concepts were there. Obviously, versus our guys in the red zone is tough because those DBs don't backpedal, but I thought it was really a good practice for the first time out in camp."
But it was not a day that would bring the Broncos even a step closer to any kind of closure on a quarterback competition that their starting receivers have said they want to see end sooner rather than later.