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Five takeaways from Broncos coaches as they answer fan questions

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Vance Joseph didn't have to wait long to receive the obvious, most pressing question on the minds of just about every Broncos fan as he sat down for a conference call with more than a thousand season-ticket holders and Orange Herd members Wednesday.

"I would like to know who the quarterback is gonna be," asked a caller named Teresa, a season-ticket holder since 1980 who lives in Arizona.

Joseph couldn't help but chuckle. He knew this sort of question would come at some point.

"That's a great question, Teresa," he began his reply.

But Joseph he knew his answer would allow him to reiterate what he said at the NFL Scouting Combine and again Monday in a question-and-answer session with media: that an open competition between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch will take place.

"Right now, we've got two young guys that we're really excited about," Joseph said.

"It's going to be an open competition, and the best guy will play. But it's fun to have two great options there."

And with that, the conference call with Joseph and coordinators Mike McCoy, Brock Olivo and Joe Woods was off and running.

Here's a few tidbits to emerge from the hour-long question-and-answer session:


  1. EMPHASIZING THE COMMITMENT TO SIEMIAN AND LYNCH** "Those two kids should be our future going forward," Joseph said early in his time on the call.

For each quarterback, their growth will start with becoming familiar with McCoy's scheme.

Of Lynch, Joseph said, "He's a first-round pick for a reason. He's a tall guy with a big arm. He's very athletic. Again, it's a new system, so learning the system is going to be his [task] this spring. Once he does that, he can compete at a high level."

Of Siemian, Joseph noted: "You want to see Trevor grow into the new system. But he played really well last year.

"To have a chance to play that much and win nine games combined [between him and Lynch], that's a good thing for two young quarterbacks."

As Siemian and Lynch learn the scheme, McCoy and the offensive coaches will learn about them and adapt the scheme accordingly during OTAs and training camp. McCoy said that he and the offensive assistants "have been working endless hours" in the last month to put the playbook together.

"The big thing is to find out what those guys do best, and what the quarterbacks like and they can execute," McCoy said.



Both of the first-teamers who lined up behind Siemian to start the season ended the year on injured reserve, but Joseph expects both running back C.J. Anderson and fullback Andy Janovich to be key contributors in 2017.

Anderson is doing "really well" in his rehabilitation from knee surgery, Joseph said.

"He's here every day working and training," Joseph said. "He's obviously a big part of our offense and he's going to be healthy enough to play well this year for us.

"He's an every-down back. He's a hard guy to tackle. He's a guy that can change the game as far as pounding the defense, so we're looking forward to getting him healthy and getting him back going again."

As for Janovich, he will remain a component of the offense after the scheme change, although the use of the second-year fullback will likely change based on game plans and situations.

"We have a great fullback here, so we're definitely going to use that guy," Joseph said.



In the wake of Kayvon Webster's free-agent departure and DeMarcus Ware's retirement, Woods believes the Broncos can lean on players already on hand to fill the voids. Woods cited Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett at outside linebacker and third-year player Lorenzo Doss as a potential No. 4 cornerback.

"At some of those positions we already have guys in place that can step in and play," Woods said.

Woods said he plans to keep the team in a base 3-4 alignment, restating the point he made at a press conference last month. He also expects more from second-year defensive end Adam Gotsis now that he is another year removed from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered at Georgia Tech in 2015.

"He's been around the building, working in the weight room, doing some things to improve physically," Woods said. "We really feel like he's going to do good things for us this year."



"If we played tomorrow, it would be [Donald] Stephenson or [Menelik] Watson at left tackle," Joseph said.

Of course, the Broncos' first regular-season game of the Joseph era is still nearly six months away.

"Obviously it's a process as far as free agency and the draft. That's continuing today," said Joseph, who added that he's been in pre-draft meetings throughout the week as the team formulates its evaluations and draft-week strategy.

When asked specifically about draft prospects Garett Bolles of Utah and Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin, Joseph pointed to both of them as "prime candidates for a lot of teams -- especially for teams that don't have [a left tackle]."

What happens at left tackle -- and potentially any other spots -- in the several weeks will also affect some of the things McCoy does in designing the offensive scheme.

"We're going to build our system around our team, and our team is not finalized right now," McCoy said. "So with free agency [having] just started and the draft, there are going to be some changes in the next couple of months, and then as a staff we're going to figure out what our team, what our offense does best."



Toward the end of the call, a fan asked Olivo if there was a single special-teams player for whom he'd be willing to "stand up and pound the table" in the draft-room discussion.

"I think along with the other 31 [special teams] coordinators in the NFL, Christian McCaffrey's probably the guy that's on the top of everyone's list," Olivo said. "He's a difference-maker. He's a dual-threat returner and a great football player overall.

"He's a special player," Joseph added. "He gives you a first-, second-, third-down player. He's also a returner. It's a need for us. He would definitely be in the conversation."

But if the Broncos can't land McCaffrey, there are internal options -- including Kalif Raymond and Emmanuel Sanders. Olivo also cited Jordan Norwood, who is currently a free agent and not under contract.

"It definitely starts with the returner, and we have some guys on the roster who are very capable," Olivo said.

Head Coach Vance Joseph and the Broncos introduced his three coordinators at a press conference on Tuesday: OC Mike McCoy, DC Joe Woods and STC Brock Olivo. (photos by Ben Swanson)

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