Newly signed Siemian ‘excited to work’ with Bengals, Burrow

Credit: Caean Couto

Credit: Caean Couto

After getting released five days into free agency, Trevor Siemian was just looking for a place where he could contribute in some way and feel comfortable he would fit in well. The Cincinnati Bengals “checked all those boxes,” he said.

The team’s newlysigned veteran backup quarterback arrived in town for the offseason workout program Sunday night and was ready to get to work Monday. He had visited back in March, hoping it would work out to sign then, but needed to stay patient the right time would come.

Siemian, who played two games with one start last year in Chicago, signed last week and is now with his fifth team since the Denver Broncos drafted him in the seventh round in 2015. He knows he is backing up Joe Burrow but still believes he can contribute.

“Just be the best teammate I can be,” Siemian said. “I think it’s pretty simple for me. That’s kind of how I operate. How can I add value? How can I be the best player I can be? How can I help guys out as best I can? Be no different in the quarterback room.”

Siemian liked the idea of working with Burrow, calling it a “huge factor” in his decision to sign with Cincinnati. He called it a chance to be around good players and good coaches.

On Monday when he spoke with media, he hadn’t yet gotten a chance to see Burrow work, but he’s enjoyed watching him play from afar.

“I think he’s one of the few guys that you can hand him the ball and he can win games for you,” Siemian said. “I think there’s a small handful of guys that can do that. Excited to work with him.”

The same goes for the wide receivers, as he noted this will probably be the most talented group of receivers he’s worked with so far.

Familiarity with Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan also helped. Callahan was an offensive assistant with Denver during Siemian’s first season there, when Peyton Manning quarterbacked the Broncos to a Super Bowl win over Carolina.

“I think familiarity at this stage in my career is huge,” Siemian said. “Anywhere I can go somewhere, kind of know what they’re trying to coach and get across, I think, is pretty important, especially in the quarterback room.”

When Manning retired in March 2016, that paved the path for Siemian to win the starting job that next season and he started 24 games for Denver before returning to a backup role his last three seasons with the Jets, Saints and Bears.

Siemian said he doesn’t necessarily think he has things to teach Burrow, specifically from his time with Manning, but he does look forward to bringing a different perspective to the table.

“I just have some different experiences that maybe some of these guys don’t have,” Siemian said. “Hopefully I can help them out that way.”

Many thought the Bengals would draft a backup quarterback with Brandon Allen still unsigned at that time. He ended up inking a deal with the 49ers the same day Siemian signed with Cincinnati.

Siemian said he wasn’t thinking too much about whether the Bengals would draft someone, but was glad when it worked out they still needed someone.

The 31-year-old former Northwestern quarterback did play one game in Cincinnati in September 2016 when he led the Broncos to a 29-17 win while throwing for 312 yards and four touchdowns on a hot afternoon. Siemian said he doesn’t remember much about that game because a lot has happened both for the Bengals and himself since then, but he does remember the heat.

“We won,” Siemian said. “Two good teams. It was hot as hell, I remember. I had buddies come down from Northwestern and they were excited to see me play. The only Broncos stuff they had was sweatshirts. So, I remember seeing them after the game. It’s 95 degrees and they’re soaked through sweatshirts. It’s funny the things you remember on stuff like that.”

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