Trevor Siemian has done it all. He's been Peyton Manning's successor, he’s come off the bench to lead comeback victories, he’s been benched, he's been traded, he's been a practice-squad veteran, and he's been a quarantine QB.
"You're one freak play from being thrown into the fire," Siemian said to me on this episode of QB2. "That happens in a minute’s time. Hey, get your helmet, get ready to go. ... It's unique to the rest of the team because there are only 53 guys on the team and 52 of those guys—well, 46, whoever dresses, they are going to play. But you don't know if you’re playing, or if you’re playing 60 snaps."
Last season, Siemian found himself hustling onto the field when starting QB Jameis Winston tore his ACL early in the second quarter of the Saints' Week 8 game against the Buccaneers. He ended up playing 56 snaps and guided the team to a 36-27 win.
"I remember before that game I took an extra scoop of pre-workout [powder], which looking back, I don’t know if that was a mistake or not," Siemian said with a laugh. "I remember being on the sidelines, I was pretty fired up. I was shouting a lot. Not that I wasn’t ready to play, I was just fired up, and sure enough, early second quarter, you are right in the thick of it, within a couple minutes."
Siemian isn't sure if that double serving of pre-workout is what fueled him in the victory that day, but based on that experience as well as the time he came off the bench for an injured Paxton Lynch in Denver in 2017, he has developed a process to get ready during the couple of minutes of the injury timeout.
Step 1: Find your helmet.
This is important. "You usually put them right by where the QBs sit, that part of the bench that you are at," Siemian said.
Step 2: Throw a couple of balls.
Find somebody, anybody to throw to. "You get a couple throws on the sideline and you’re like, I don’t need anything else, I am ready to roll," he said. "I’m loose!"
Step 3: Take a couple of snaps with the center.
"That's just to get an exchange with the center," he said. "During the week, you’re taking snaps with the backup center all week. You might take a few with center-QB exchange pre-practice, but usually you’re not spending a lot of time with the starting center."
With that, you're ready to go! You won't have had many reps with the starters, so when you get out on the field, you'll need to trust all the visualization you've done earlier in the week. "It's a rush," Siemian said.
Also on this episode, Siemian talked about feeling "salty" after getting cut for the first time, how Taysom Hill created a unique dynamic in the Saints' QB room, and what it's like to join a team midseason.
You can watch the full interview here, and follow Defector on Twitch if you want to be notified for the next episode.