Passing this along: QB race hits speed bump
Joseph says of Siemian, Lynch: “Both had issues”
Vance Joseph, like any firsttime head coach, is learning on the fly during his debut season at the helm of the Broncos.
“Obviously, being a head coach is a little different, and I’m trying to find my way around the field,” Joseph said Thursday after the team’s first training camp. “Everyone breaks and goes to their spots and I’m like, ‘OK, where should I go?’ I don’t want to take over anyone’s drill, but that’s the hard part. I want to coach more.”
Sunday, after the Broncos’ first practice in full pads, Joseph embraced the element of the job that begs for blunt honesty.
Lobbed a question about whether he liked the performance of quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, Joseph leveled a simple evaluation.
“Did I like what I saw? Not really,” Joseph said. “Both guys had issues today. I didn’t like what I saw today, honest. They both struggled today.”
Joseph refused to allow the playmaking of Denver’s topflight pass defense, which intercepted a combined three passes by Siemian and Lynch and deflected a handful of others, to serve as an excuse for what he viewed as a poor outing by the two quarterbacks battling for the starting job.
“It’s NFL football,” Joseph said. “Make your reads. We have good receivers. They can win against anybody. When you say that, it’s not about the overall secondary, it’s about the matchup. (Demaryius Thomas) and (Emmanuel Sanders) can win. So find them and throw the ball to them.”
Bradley Roby made the first big play for the secondary, jumping a quick out route near the end zone and snatching the pass from Lynch. Roby had nothing but green grass in front of him as he sprinted 100 yards the other way for a would-be touchdown. Lorenzo Doss got into the action when he intercepted a Lynch pass during 7-on-7 drills that was dropped by wide receiver Marlon Brown.
Doss wasn’t done. He appropriately ended a practice dominated by the secondary — and all-pro linebacker Von Miller — by intercepting a pass from Seimian for another de facto pick-six play.
“We have some great quarterbacks here, and I’m just trying to do my job on the defensive end,” Doss said. “I keep putting my hands on the rock.”
The Broncos again focused heavily on red zone offense during practice. Joseph allowed that those situations favor Denver’s talented defense, particularly the secondary.
“It’s hard to throw the ball in the red zone because DBs understand it’s only two routes, inside and outside,” Joseph said. “So to throw against (Aqib) Talib and Chris Harris, it’s tough. And Roby, he sits on routes. You’ve got four yards to the ball — he’s not going anywhere. It’s tough to throw the ball in the red zone, so running the ball is a must for us.”