This is different. Case Keenum has a starting job that, at least for the time being, is actually his.
He isn’t replacing anyone. He isn’t the stand-in for someone else in the starring role. Keenum is actually sitting atop the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback depth chart as they prepare to open the season Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.
‘Nice to create some chemistry with receivers’
“Every game I’ve started so far in this league, I’ve kind of taken over for somebody else that’s kind have been running the show,” Keenum told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “So to be able to be my show, that I get to run and operate as the leader of the offense, it’s been really nice to kind of create some chemistry with the receivers, tight ends, running backs and protection with the O-line, it’s been really good. I think we’re all excited about this season and excited about this week coming up.”
One of the bigger challenges facing Keenum and the rest of the 49ers’ offense is getting a handle on the scheme of new 49ers’ defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil. There is almost no research available on how the Niners’ personnel is being utilized in the defense.
Preparing for new 49ers’ D ‘a little different’
“It is a little different,” Keenum said. “Obviously, they played four games in preseason, but besides looking at personnel, we can’t go back to last year’s film unless you want to look at people and kind of judge people for where they’re at because this is his defense. So we’re having to watch a little bit from teams’ defenses where the coach was previously at or maybe one thing we’re going to expect. But that’s kind of just our rules and having different concrete, black-and-white rules that you have to rely on when you go out there and you’re kind of unsure of maybe some of the looks you’re going to get that you’ve got to prepare and you’ve got to count on your guys winning one-on-one matchups.
“We’re excited for this challenge and, obviously, Monday Night Football is something that’s a lot of fun to go out and play under those lights. And for it being a division game as well, it means that much more. So we’re excited.”
Kubiak: Broncos ‘feel great’ about Siemian
Seven months ago, the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 with the legendary Peyton Manning at quarterback.
On Thursday night, they will open the season against their Super Bowl opponent, the Carolina Panthers, with a quarterback who is as interesting for his lack of fame as anything else.
‘Earned the opportunity to be our starter’
But don’t tell Broncos coach Gary Kubiak that he is lacking a legitimate NFL starter in Trevor Siemian.
“We feel great about Trevor,” Kubiak told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “He’s earned the opportunity to be our starter. He’s done a great job and our football team’s excited for him and really excited to go to work for him.
‘Trevor was consistent over a period of time’
“It was a heck of a battle (for the starting spot). The thing Trevor did is he was consistent over a period of time. When you go out there every day and work against our defense, that’s a heck of a challenge when you’re a quarterback, throwing against those guys. And I think that’s what’s made Trevor better. He went out there and competed each day.”
Kubiak has been particularly impressed with the mentality Siemian demonstrated throughout training camp and the preseason.
‘Keeps a cool, calm head’
“When it hasn’t been good, he’s bounced back the next day,” the coach said. “And when things are good, he keeps a cool, calm head on his shoulders and just keeps going forward. So we need to do our job around him and stay focused as a team and play well as a team.”
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