DENVER -- When your NFL career has been pretty much a waiting game, what is another 45 minutes, really?
So, when Denver Broncos backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was poised to go into Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks only to be derailed by Mother Nature, he just did what he has done plenty so far in his time in the league, he searched for the virtue of patience and waited a bit longer.
“I was like 'shoot, I’ve been waiting six months to play,' and a lighting delay happens," Osweiler said. "... You just have to be patient. There’s certain things that take place that you can’t control."
Officials cleared the field with 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter Thursday night because of a lighting strike within eight miles of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, just after Peyton Manning and the Broncos' starting offense had polished off a 14-play, 61-yard touchdown drive.
The weather delay was 45 minutes and the Seahawks then held the ball for 9:18 on a 14-play drive of their own after play resumed. So, there was 7:12 left in the first half by the time Osweiler finally got behind center in the offense.
By the time his evening was finished, one of the most scrutinized picks of the John Elway personnel era, at least in the Twitter-verse, showed a growing pain or two to go with the power arm. He was 6-of-12 passing for 85 yards in roughly two and a half quarters of work with a touchdown and an interception.
Those totals included an ill-advised stare-down of tight end Gerell Robinson that turned into a Seahawks interception and a 34-yard missile down the seam to rookie Jordan Norwood for a fourth-quarter touchdown on the Broncos’ possession after his interception.
"He’s a young quarterback and we’ve seen great growth," Broncos coach John Fox said. "...I liked the fact, he made a throw I know he’d like to have back and then he came back with that short memory and finished the game very well."
"That was a heck of a throw on that touchdown," Manning said. "That interception -- I was watching from the sideline and I was saying throw it to the same guy, myself. It was one of those where the guy looked open when you throw it and once the ball leaves your hand ... there’s plenty you’d like to have back, but great job coming back, great throw to Norwood on that touchdown and great catch by Jordan as well."
Osweiler is still in the midst of an extended apprenticeship. Quarterbacks selected with Osweiler in the 2012 draft, like the Seahawks' Russell Wilson, and some taken in the two drafts since have gone on to start. However, Osweiler is watch-and-learn mode with a future Hall of Famer in the meeting room each day.
As a result, his regular-season total still stands at 20 pass attempts, but the Broncos have made no secret they want to see their third-year quarterback, who won’t turn 24 until November, show some chops in their offense. And they are going to ask him to do more at the line of scrimmage in this preseason.
"I know how I’m capable of playing and the level I’m capable of playing to, and I just want to show that to our coaching staff and my teammates and the rest of the Broncos' organization," Osweiler said.
Though the interception is not what they wanted to see and sometimes he still doesn’t get rid of the ball when he should as the rush closes in, his ability to answer a mistake with the touchdown was exactly what they wanted to see.
"That’s something that (quarterbacks) coach (Greg) Knapp preaches in the quarterback room all the time and that’s short-term memory," Osweiler said. "That no matter what happens the play before, you’ve got to erase it and move forward."
Asked to grade his night against Seahawks, Osweiler said: "Certainly not an A, and I can tell you that with a firm answer ... lot of things I did well and a lot of things I need to clean up and improve on."