ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Gary Kubiak trusts Trevor Siemian has both the physical toughness and the mental tenacity to lead the Denver Broncos down the stretch.That much was clear this week when Siemian received a second cortisone shot in his ailing left shoulder along with a vote of confidence from his coach.Like a kid playing Whac-A-Mole at an arcade, Kubiak seemingly has spent the whole season hammering away at rumors of another quarterback controversy in Denver:-No, Paxton Lynch isnt going to be under center for the homestretch that includes two games against Kansas City, one against Oakland and another against rival New England.-No, Kubiak has never wavered on Siemian, who won the job as Peyton Mannings successor over trade acquisition Mark Sanchez and Lynch, the teams first-round draft pick.-Yes, he expects much, much more of his QB who has earned GM John Elways praise for going 7-2 as the starter.I want Trevor to play big. I dont want Trevor to play OK or good, Kubiak said.Elway said Tuesday hes pleased with the teams record and also expects the Broncos to go on another post-bye roll.I think we would take it if you said at Week 10 wed be 7-3 with whats happened, Elway said. We havent played our best football yet, which I think is the encouraging thing.But weve played hard week in and week out, and so Im excited about our possibilities and what we can do. I know that the schedule is a tough schedule from here on out, but thats what happens when you win the division. But were excited about it.We feel like we can get better on the offensive side. We have room for improvement there. Weve figured out ways to win. Thats what you have to do. Were excited about the last six.Siemian said he relishes the rising expectations.Kube expects a lot out of me. I expect a lot out myself truthfully, Siemian said.To do that, he knows he has to stay upright.Siemian took a beating in Denvers 25-23 win at New Orleans on Sunday when he was sacked six times, hit on 11 other drop-backs and tackled on three runs. Thats an agonizing total of 20 shots on that sore left shoulder thats bothered him since it was driven to the turf in Tampa on Oct. 2, forcing him to sit out the next six quarters.Hes beat up. He took a lot of shots, Kubiak said. Some of them he has to take responsibility for. We have to make sure that hes stepping up in the pocket.Aside from the dazzling defensive 2-point conversion that won it, the takeaway image from the Superdome was Siemian on his back, his arms outstretched toward the roof in celebration after getting hammered while throwing a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.The reason he does make a lot of plays is because he will sit in there and get hit right in the mouth and make a play. That is a great characteristic of a quarterback because you have to do that sometimes, Kubiak said.Kubiak then added this caveat: Siemian needs to protect himself better. This, even though five of the sacks and both of Siemians interceptions Sunday came on four-man rushes, meaning the Broncos had the blockers, but still couldnt protect the passer properly.Right now, sometimes his depth is bad in the shotgun, Kubiak said. Its something weve got to work on. When its good, hes stepping up. Sometimes hes drifting and getting hit when he shouldnt be getting hit.He gets on the road, gets loud, you get in the gun, you start getting away from the center a little too far and now all of a sudden youre back there hitting 11 yards. Were not going to protect you if youre doing that. Its just something that we have to improve with him.That was Kubiak defending his beleaguered lineman, something hes willing to do because hes as much assured in Siemians psychological doggedness as he is in his physical toughness.The bye week will provide the coaching staff the opportunity to reconfigure Siemians pocket of protection.Ty Sambrailo replaced an ineffective Donald Stephenson at right guard midway through the game Sunday, when the Broncos broke out of a prolonged funk and had zero three-and-outs in a dozen drives.Kubiak said Tuesday that Sambrailo deserves to play a lot more football.Like a seasoned veteran, Siemian placed plenty of the blame for his aches and pains on his battered shoulders.A lot of times Im holding the ball too long and I get what I deserve in that sense, Siemian said.He said this five-day furlough that begins Wednesday is all about letting his battered body heal.Yeah, a lot of rest, Siemian said. Wont be doing much bench press this week.Hell be doing the heavy lifting soon enough.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL---Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton Cheap NFL Gear .J. -- Marshawn Lynch said Thursday it will be good to get back to football after the Seattle quiet talking running back wrapped up his final mandatory media session of Super Bowl week. Disocunt Football Jerseys . The Browns coaching search remains incomplete. http://www.wholesalejerseys.win/ .J. Jefferson has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. China Jerseys . As he recorded his 23rd and 24th points of the evening, a segment of the sellout Air Canada Centre crowd expressed their appreciation for the Raptors point guard with a smattering of MVP chants. Wholesale NFL Gear .25 million option on reliever Jose Veras. SEATTLE -- Jewell Loyd scored 26 points, and Breanna Stewart had 10 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two blocked shots to help the Seattle Storm beat the Washington Mystics 80-51 on Friday night.After the game, the Storm retired three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jacksons No. 15 jersey. The seven-time All-Star helped Seattle win two WNBA titles, earning Finals MVP honors in 2010.Sue Bird and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 12 points apiece for the Storm (8-13). 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