The Denver Broncos know who their starting quarterback is, and for the first time in years, it looks like they’ll know that for many years to come.
Drew Lock is the team’s future at the quarterback position, but every team needs a solid backup that it can rely on. Not just to come off the bench in a pinch but also a guy who can run the scout team and help the starter prepare for the upcoming opponent.
With those things in mind, is there any way that Brett Rypien can unseat Jeff Driskel as the Broncos’ backup quarterback?
The immediate answer to that question is going to be no. Driskel is far more experienced and was a free-agent signing of the team, meaning the Broncos sought out a better backup than any that they had on the roster.
But digging a bit deeper, there is nothing to suggest that Driskel is a “good” backup quarterback. A sixth-round pick in 2016, Driskel is already playing for his fourth team. He has seen action in the regular season but as a starter holds just a 1-7 record.
In Rypien, the Broncos have a player that they shelled out a big contract for in terms of undrafted free agents following the draft last year. He played quite well during the preseason last year but wasn’t really in the mix to be part of the main roster, a fact that was proven when the Broncos released him and Kevin Hogan following the preseason in order to claim Brandon Allen off waivers.
Rypien then spent time on the team’s practice squad for much of the rest of the season.
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One thing that will really work against Rypien is the fact that Rich Scangarello is no longer with the team. The former offensive coordinator was Rypien’s biggest supporter.
Pat Shurmur is now in charge of the offense and the player who grasps his system quicker will be the guy that gets the job. Due to his experience in multiple offenses and having had some regular-season playing time, Driskel would have to be considered a big favorite to win the job.
Rypien may have to hope that the team keeps three quarterbacks on the roster if he is to make the team, but that doesn’t seem likely.
Still, Rypien should be given every chance to be the team’s backup. Driskel has bounced around the league and there is a reason for that. That’s not to say he won’t succeed in Denver, but he has shown no proof anywhere else that he will.