ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --With two blasts of an airhorn and a final message from Head Coach Vance Joseph, the Broncos concluded minicamp and two months of team-organized work Thursday at UCHealth Training Center.
"It's been really quality work," Joseph said.
The next time the Broncos gather as a team will be for training camp in six weeks.
Until then, Joseph wants his players to do two things: retain what they've learned on the field and be responsible in any situations that could lead to potential trouble.
"The football message was the stuff that we learned, as far as the scheme on both sides of the ball, let's not lose that," Joseph said. "Let's come back and start from this point -- not go backwards as far as the scheme.
"Off the field, the message was, man, let's just be smart. Stay out of trouble and walk away from conflict. Use Uber," he continued, adding that Lyft was also an option.
"Just [to be] really be socially conscious about their surroundings, their behavior and again, [if there's] any conflict, man, just please walk away. And just be smart."
Joseph's message was the primary takeaway from a practice that was more mental than physical.
... After individual drills, the team worked at a jog-through tempo, focusing on specific special-teams and end-game scenarios that it might encounter over the course of a season.
"Today was a Mitch Tanney practice," Joseph said, referring to the team's director of football analytics. "It was simply a situational practice.
"We're trying to smarten our guys up as far as situational football. That stuff, over the years with most coaches, you kind of go through it and brush over it, but it can cost you a game or two -- or win you a game or two."
That approach helped the Miami Dolphins while Joseph was on their staff last year. The Dolphins' run to their first playoff appearance in eight years was powered by eight consecutive wins in games decided by seven or fewer points.
... The nature of Thursday's work ensured that it would not move the needle on the quarterback competition, which will begin in earnest when training camp starts.
But when camp does begin, Joseph noted the importance of not getting too caught up in the day-to-day ups and downs for Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian. Instead, he wants to step back and evaluate their collective bodies of work.
Joseph leaned on his college career at the University of Colorado, when he was in a competition with future Pro Bowl quarterback Kordell Stewart, as a guide for shaping his view on the Lynch-Siemian duel.
"It was very similar to what these two guys are going through. I get it. It's a tough deal," Joseph said.
"You have to be patient with the guys. You have to not take the evaluation as a daily deal; it's got to be a collective evaluation as far as the time. It can't be, 'Monday, he's better; Tuesday, he's better.' It's got to be a collective result as far as who is more consistent over time."
... Joseph said that neither quarterback was ahead of the other over the course of OTAs, "because it was more of a learning phase."
"Both guys did some good things, and both guys did some off things," Joseph said. "It was really equal."
After the Broncos focused on red-zone work at Tuesday's minicamp practice, Head Coach Vance Joseph said the offense came away with a great day. (photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)