INDIANAPOLIS —As Vance Joseph inches closer to his first season as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, there may be no two people more equipped to discuss his readiness than Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.
Joseph, who will be a first-time head coach, was hired in Denver after spending a year as Gase's defensive coordinator in Miami.
"I've known Vance for a long time," Gase said. "This was kind of my eighth year being around him. The relationship that we've had — we worked together in 2008 and then being around him as a defensive coordinator — I was not going to be shocked. I knew there was going to be some jobs open. He was going to be a guy that were going to want to talk to.
"I just kept thinking to myself, it would be really hard for a team to turn him down. Because when he gets in a room, his presence and the command he has around people — he'd be a tough guy to walk away from and be like, 'Nah, I don't want to hire him.'"
Ultimately, the Broncos found they could not turn Joseph away, as his potential as a leader of men was too great to ignore.
Lewis, who had Joseph on his staff as a defensive backs coach before Joseph left for Miami, also saw the characteristics in Joseph that make a successful head coach.
"He's got a great demeanor, a great knowledge of the game." Lewis said. "Broad, broad view. Great picture. He's excited for the opportunity."
On what Joseph does best, Gase didn't hesitate while speaking at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.
"Football I.Q." Gase said, "and the things that he does schematically are very good, as well."
Of course, having a strong skill set doesn't exclude a first-time head coach from the challenges that accompany a job in a coach's first year.
"I think each and every day is a new day," Lewis said. "And you know, there's things that happen particularly during the in-week season, that you're not prepared for. But you know what, you'll get through it. And then the next time around, you'll be better prepared and it'll be a much smoother transition through that particular, whatever that little hurdle is that comes up during the season.
Said Gase on his own mentality when he arrived in Miami last year: "I just felt like I was going to do exactly what I've always done, and that's just the brutal honesty part. You try to stick with that, just communicating with guys. Just don't lie to players. That's the first thing I learned when I got in this profession."
"You tell them the truth, tell them straight. [Former Broncos coach John Fox] always told me don't B.S. them. Tell them exactly what you want and hit them between the eyes and they'll respect that. They might not like it but they'll get over it."
Both Lewis and Gase have found success as head coaches in the NFL, albeit for different lengths of times. If Joseph follows in their footsteps, the Broncos will be set for years to come.
And to hear Lewis and Gase talk about the Broncos' new head guy, there isn't much doubt that will happen.