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Next-Day Notebook: Broncos QB switch possible if 'best for the football team'

Posted Oct 31, 2017

"I think it's fair to evaluate the quarterback and all positions," Head Coach Vance Joseph said after turnovers doomed the Broncos to a third consecutive loss.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the wake of a third consecutive loss with three or more offensive giveaways, "everything is being explored" to fix what ails the Broncos' struggling offense, including a change at the quarterback position, Head Coach Vance Joseph said Tuesday afternoon.

Monday night's 29-19 defeat in Kansas City saw the Broncos' mounting turnover issues hit their peak, with five turnovers -- including three Trevor Siemian interceptions -- dooming the Broncos. Denver now has the second-most giveaways in the NFL and the league's second-worst turnover margin.

"Obviously, after losing three in a row, and yesterday having five turnovers, I think it's fair to evaluate everything there, with our team working so hard and the guys putting in max effort yesterday and not having a chance to win the football game," Joseph said. "I think it's fair to evaluate the quarterback and all positions.

"With yesterday on offense, four turnovers -- I think everything is up for discussion at this point of the season."

The three interceptions thrown by Siemian were a career single-game high for the third-year quarterback, and pushed his season total to 10, the third-highest total in the NFL. Since starting the season with a 6-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in Weeks 1 and 2, Siemian's ratio is 3-to-8.

"When you watch Trevor, even last night, he made three horrible interceptions, I mean horrific decisions, with those three he threw last night," Joseph said. "But he had 20 other plays that were really, really good.

"So when you watch your starting quarterback make 20 or 25 amazing throws and three horrific interceptions, that's when it becomes an issue, because in your heart, you know he can play better. He can play better because those three balls he threw, you just can't throw, but the 20-plus plays he made in the third and fourth quarter, man, it keeps you excited about the guy. So that's the issue.

"But again, it's about results, and we haven't had them. We've lost three games in a row, again, yesterday, with four [offensive] turnovers. At the end of the day, it's about results. It's not about how he's played. It's the end result that we're not getting. And it's not good."

If Siemian does not start in Philadelphia next Sunday, six-year veteran Brock Osweiler will. Joseph said that Paxton Lynch is not an option at this point because he has just four practices under his belt since returning from a sprained throwing shoulder suffered in the Broncos' third preseason game Aug. 26.

"If a switch is made, it would be considered [to be] what's best for the football team," Joseph said.

If a change is made, it will not be announced before Joseph can confer with his team. He did not expect that practice would impact the choice because of the short week that followed the Monday night defeat.

"If something is done, I want to meet with our guys first -- meaning the quarterbacks and the coaches and with our football team before we put anything out publicly," Joseph said. "So nothing is going to happen tonight, by [any] means.

"We're still discussing it. We're still figuring out what's best for our team going forward."

ANY DECISION WILL BE MADE with the entire locker room in mind.

"It's my job to do what's best for the football team," Joseph said. "When you've lost three games in a row and you've had the turnovers like we've had -- we're minus-11 [in turnover margin for the season] -- that's not good. If you try to go the same way, and it doesn't get better, that's on me.

"And, again, we have players and coaches putting a lot of time and effort in to get ready for these football games and guys are playing hard. I think it's fair to examine that position and all positions."

That effort can manifest itself in frustration in the hours and days after the game, some of which gets aired publicly. Tuesday, Aqib Talib tweeted about the afternoon trade deadline. Monday night, Chris Harris Jr. said there was "high tension" over the struggles.

"Frustration is very high, man," Harris said. "Tired of losing. Tired of losing the same way every game, man. We're not giving ourselves a chance to win.

"I mean, it's high tension, man," he continued. "We're not winning. We're not taking care of the football. We're giving games away."

Those comments didn't bother Joseph, whose defense has held its last four opponents to 17.3 points and 1.3 offensive touchdowns per game during the Broncos' losing streak.

"That means guys want to win, and I don't blame guys for being upset, because, again, this football team has worked hard, and guys worked hard to win the football game, and it didn't happen," Joseph said.

"I'm not moved by Chris or Talib's comments because they're upset. I'm upset. That's why it's my job to find an option where we can go win football games. So it doesn't bother me that guys are upset. They should be, because this is a hard business, and it takes a lot of work to get ready to play football games each week."

DON'T PANIC: That was the message defensive lineman Shelby Harris wanted to convey after the loss. Panic would do the Broncos no good whatsoever.

"No, because all you're going to do is put yourself in a fluster and just go crazy. So everyone just relax," he said. "We're going to get it figured out."

In his mind, it's easy for a team to stick together through a crisis.

"You guys weren’t there for training camp. That’s what it means. That’s how you form the bond of brotherhood," he said. "We’re fine. What did Aaron Rodgers say? 'Relax. R-E-L-A-X.' Chill; we’ll be good. Yeah, it’s a bump in the road, but we’re going to go back this week and work our tails off and get it right."

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