Vance Joseph – Thoughts on Team

Official Denver Broncos Reporter

By Julie Dixon @ABroncoNole

At the NFL coaches’ breakfast held this week in Arizona, head coach Vance Joseph gave us several insights into how he will run the Denver Broncos, his relationship with general manager, John Elway and where the team stands.

He was, of course, asked several questions from various news organizations about the quarterback position. One quote stood out because of its lack of enthusiasm you want to see from a head coach about the previous starter: “He had seven wins maybe as a starter but you have to go back and really watch the tape and watch how he plays the position. If you ask football coaches about Trevor Siemian they recognize that it takes work to go recognize that.”

Wait. You have to work to see how he plays? What does that mean? What he did was so hidden, it takes extra work to find it? When you add that to another quote about scoring points, it starts to paint a picture. Especially when you know the Broncos had one of the lowest scoring offenses in its history.

“I want an offense that scores points. I don’t want an offense that leans on our defense to win the games for us. I don’t want that. I told [offensive coordinator] Mike [McCoy] when I hired him—I said, ‘Mike, I want you to go score points. Whoever is our quarterbacks, let’s score as many points as we can and our defense is going to play behind you.’ We can’t go into it thinking they are going to rescue our offense every game. That’s a bad way to go into the season. I want those guys to be aggressive. I want them to attack defenses and score as many points as they can. Now, if they can’t—defense, help us. But their mindset just has to be, be aggressive and score points.”

One can conclude from his quotes that while he likes Trevor, which he says often, he’s not setting the world on fire. If you have to work to see what Trevor did well, and scoring points isn’t top of the list, that’s an invite to another quarterback having a chance to start.

Whether that’s Paxton Lynch or Tony Romo. The quotes over the last two days from both Elway and Joseph on Romo are as useful as adding an extra stripe to a Cleveland Browns uniform. In short–right now, they like their young quarterbacks. They haven’t talked about Romo, he isn’t in the discussions. But hey, if he becomes available we’ll look at anyone.

The problem is, Denver is down to 16.1 million in cap space. After incoming rookies are paid, there’s not enough left for Romo AND a left tackle we could acquire in a trade. It’s either/or. While Romo may work some deal to spread his cap hit out, based on incentives, etc., a left tackle won’t.

In a trade, we pick up his contract. There’s not a left tackle worth making a trade for that’s going to be low enough for both he and Romo. You can bet Houston Texans will offer him more. Not that I see Denver being a better fit than them. Right now, we have so much new, don’t know why Romo, if Elway (not Joe Ellis) even wants him, would want Denver. Especially since we don’t have a left tackle!

As an aside, don’t look at the photos of Romo this week in Mexico. If his body doesn’t say, he’s not ready for OTAs, not sure what would.

Continuing on from his quarterback talk he had this to say about choosing a starter:

“It’s going to be a group effort on picking the quarterback. Again, that guy is going to play and win the job, but it won’t be easy and it should not be easy. I’m hoping it’s really tough and a really tight race that falls on a group decision.”

Sorry, Vance, I don’t want a close competition. I want a breakaway guy early so the entire offseason and training camp isn’t spent wasting valuable time splitting repetitions with the first string offensives players. A quarterback needs as much time developing chemistry and timing with his wide receivers and tight ends as he can get. Especially in a new system with a new playbook.

I’m glad it’ll be a group choice and not only Joseph’s since he’s not the one calling plays.

On Elway being a part of that group, “He’s going to watch every practice—every tape from practice. I want John’s input. That is going to be a group decision, and I’m hoping it’s a hard decision. Now, if it is obvious, it’s obvious and we’ll move on. I’m hoping it’s going to be a hard decision who is going to be our quarterback.”

What Joesph had to say about working with Elway, “John has been great. In my opinion, for a young head coach, it is a perfect setup. I do football; John does contract and personnel. We come together on both, but my area is football. As a young coach, I couldn’t do both. I don’t want to do both. It’s too much. I want to coach the football team and allow John to do personnel and free agency, which he is really good at. So why should I jump into John’s suit? He won’t jump into mine. I want John’s input on football. From the quarterback to how we play offense and how we play defense, I want his input. He’s a great football mind. He’s a bright guy. I want it this way.

I’m football; he’s personnel. He’s contracts.

Even with coach’s contracts, that falls on John. I can coach my coaches without having this animosity about contracts. John takes it off my plate. In my opinion, he’s a perfect boss to work for because he kind of shields me from a lot of things that most guys don’t get shielded from. Even in Denver when John makes a call in Denver, he’s been so good there that there is so much trust with the fan base it goes over because John has been so good. I need John. He’s a welcoming shield for me.”

Sounds like a symbiotic relationship and one that Elway will be more involved with than he was with former head coaches, John Fox and Gary Kubiak. We shall see how Elway being more involved in running the team, works out.

He had this to say about Demaryius Thomas, which if you ask me, requires a bold QB to get him the ball. Tossing it to him five yards on the left sideline with a cornerback in his face isn’t going to be helpful in achieving what he wants.. “I want ‘88,’ that’s what I call him, I want him to be a dominant player all the time. I don’t want him to ease into games. I want him to be a guy. I want him to step out and be a guy. It’s time. He’s a great player. He can take over a game, but I want his mindset to be every game we play to walk on the field and take over the game. Again, running the football will force them to load up the box and give him one‐on‐one opportunities. I want him to win every one‐on‐one. I want him to become a leader of our football team.”

Jospeh said that they still want a left tackle and there are a few in the draft, it’ll be up to where one falls to 20. Looks like the philosophy will be best available for the need. A rookie LT isn’t a great answer for any Denver QB.

How he’s shaping being a new HC: “You always draw back on your experiences. That helps. I think this job is based on your experiences. I’ve been with five teams now and every place you go it’s different how you do things. You take those experiences and you try and make them your own. It’s no different when you’re a coordinator on defense. I’ve been with a lot of coordinators and you take all of those packages and you make them one.”

As far as defense, “The key is going to be, first of all, keeping the system in place. That has been so good the last two years. You can always add different coverage packages and different pressures that Wade Phillips didn’t have that I learned from [Minnesota head coach Mike] Zimmer in Cincinnati. I’m bringing in experience from the Bengals packages, which has been a really good package in the NFL for a long time. Adding some of those things to Wade’s package that Joe is going to run, it’s going to help us become better on defense.”

My Pom Poms are shaking, rattling and rolling.


All quotes are courtesy of the Denver Broncos. Click here if you want to read the entire transcript.

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