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Bill Musgrave lends helping hand as tradition of mentoring young QBs continues

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The media turned its attention to third-year quarterback Paxton Lynch on Wednesday as the young pro had one of his best practices of training camp.

Lynch worked his way through progressions, made big throws and largely avoided mistakes.

But it wasn't a one-man effort.

Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave has a long history of tutoring young quarterbacks, and he's aiming to do the same with Lynch and first-year player Chad Kelly.

"[Musgrave]'s been really good for us," Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "[Falcons QB] Matt Ryan, [Raiders QB Derek] Carr, [Eagles QB Nick] Foles, [Former Falcons QB] Michael Vick — he's coached a lot of young quarterbacks as rookies. Billy Musgrave does a good job of making their jobs easy. That's coordinating, right?

"It's our job as coaches to make their jobs easy, not make it hard. He's done a good job with our offense creating completion passes. We can drop back on first-and-10 and hit a 4-yard pass. That's huge for us. That's his job and he's done a good job at that. He gets it with young quarterbacks, as far as the time it takes to develop young quarterbacks and the progression it takes. [He's] giving those guys enough operate so we can operate, but not so much where it's overwhelming. That's been his strength."

As Musgrave has worked with various quarterbacks, he's tweaked the details of his instruction, but the method has largely stayed the same.

"I think all of us as teachers and coaches have our routines, we have our buzz words that we probably learned from our respective coaches," Musgrave said. "I definitely utilize those, those are common. Everybody is different. I think you need to customize it and tailor it to every individual player."

Both Lynch and Kelly still have plenty of room for progress, so Musgrave's job is not yet complete. The young players both need extended playing time, and consistency remains an important goal for which to strive.

But in his first full offseason as the Broncos' offensive coordinator, Musgrave seems to have given both players the assistance needed to take a step forward.

Above all, the relationship seems to be a partnership.

So while quarterback, at times, can seem like a pretty lonely position on the field when a team is facing a third-and-long, Musgrave has done his best to ensure his players know he's in the fight with them.

"We go hand in hand," Musgrave said. "We're all in it together, as you know. We work together and we feel like there's good synergy and collaboration. All of us take pride in being good teachers and good students at the same time."

As the lessons continue, so should the growth.

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