Pass­ing this along: QB race hits speed bump

Joseph says of Siemian, Lynch: “Both had is­sues”

The Denver Post - - DOVE VALLEY DAYS - By Nick Kos­mider

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.”

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