FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - One of Adam Gase's top priorities in the offseason was finding an experienced quarterback to back up Sam Darnold, and the guy he wanted from the beginning was Trevor Siemian.
This is why.
"He's exactly what smart teams want in a backup quarterback," one AFC scout told SNY on Thursday night. "Experience. He's done it before and done it well. There's no learning curve. Just plug him in and go to work."
That's what Gase will be trying to do with the 27-year-old Siemian, now that Darnold is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with mono. The job of a backup quarterback is to steady a rattled team, somehow keeping it afloat until the starting quarterback can return.
Gase is confident that's exactly what Siemian can do.
"He was the perfect guy for Sam," Gase said on Thursday. "Watching him prepare in practice and kind of seeing what he did yesterday, getting thrown in with the (starters), just his calmness. I think it's great for our other players because he's not a panic guy. He's got a coolness about him.
"When things change at that position sometimes other guys can panic a little, but when you have a guy that is really calm and steady, then that calms everybody else down."
The calmness of Siemian comes from his past experience. Originally a seventh-round pick of the Broncos in 2015 (right after Gase left Denver for Chicago), he beat out Mark Sanchez and first-round rookie Paxton Lynch to become the Broncos starter and become the successor to Peyton Manning. He went 13-11 in two seasons and was even named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate in that first season.
Siemian was spectacular at times, then average or below average at others. He has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 5,686 yards with 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 25 career games.
"He can throw it," another scout said. "And he's smart. He made some throws he shouldn't have, but all young quarterbacks do that. Plus he won. Yes, he was on some good teams, but not all quarterbacks can win."
"We signed Trevor specifically because of his 24 starts in his career with a winning record," Gase said. "He has a lot of experience, has been on winning ball clubs, (and) he has the respect of the locker room."
Still, he's not Darnold. Siemian is "much more of a pure pocket passer" the scout said. He can run a little (60 career rushes for 183 yards), but the scout added "he's not going to create as much out of the pocket as (Darnold) did."
"Trevor has the ability to move and do those things as well," said Jets offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. "(But) we are going to tweak some things and will move some things around and do things that fit Trevor more. Obviously, there will be a little bit of adjustment, but we'll be fine with it."
The Jets do feel like they'll be fine because of the quality they keep coming back to -- Siemian's experience. It can be traumatic for a team when a starting quarterback goes down, and it could get exponentially worse if his replacement is a young quarterback experiencing the NFL for the first time. If players are on edge, they don't want uncertainty -- or worse -- from their leader.
They won't get that from Siemian. They will know from the first snap that he's comfortable and in charge.
"I think the biggest thing, one of (his) better qualities, is he has really good command," Loggains said. "He's started in the league, he has a winning record in this league, and he has a good presence in the huddle. He is an accurate guy, he does have the ability to move, (but) just the experience factor is a big deal."
"This is why teams that think they can compete for the playoffs need that veteran backup," the AFC scout said. "It's why for years people used to say the backup QB was the second most important player on the team."