INDIANAPOLIS -- **With the new league year just eight days away and the Scouting Combine kicking into full gear, Head Coach Vance Joseph touched on several topics in question-and-answer sessions with media Wednesday.
A few key takeaways from his answers follow:
1. REACHING OUT TO DEMARCUS WARE
Ware is the most accomplished Bronco who is set to become an unrestricted free agent. The lines of communication are open with him, as Joseph said he's had "four or five" conversations with the veteran of 12 previous seasons, including the last three with Denver.
But whether Ware stays or not depends on multiple factors, some of which are beyond the Broncos' control.
"Lots of things go into that, as far as where he wants to be, how much he wants to play, his role," Joseph said. "That's a work in progress."
Even though Ware turns 35 in July and has battled with injuries the last two years, an opening to continue his playing career if he desires should be there. Dwight Freeney's evolution into situational use the last few seasons offers a template for the path Ware could take if he returns, and the scarcity of productive edge rushers should give him opportunities.
"Pass rushers are awfully hard to find," Joseph said. "It's a combination of obviously having great ability [with] also great feel as a pass rusher.
"If you can rush the passer and cover, you can play great defense. But they're hard to find, and they're hard to acquire if you don't have them."
- QB COMPETITION WON'T REALLY BEGIN UNTIL TRAINING CAMP**
That's when Joseph expects Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch to grapple in earnest for the starting job. Their work during organized team activities will revolve around learning the scheme.
"The spring, with OTAs, that's going to be more for those guys to learn Mike's system," Joseph said. "The real competition is going to be in training camp."
Joseph expects Siemian to be ready for training camp after he rehabilitates from a left-shoulder injury that Joseph called "horrific" and one that "most guys won't play with."
"The most important thing for him is to be in meetings with Mike [McCoy] and to learn Mike's system, because the competition's going to be in the fall. It won't be in the spring. The spring is going to be a learning tool for those kids to learn Mike's system, and the real competition is going to be in the fall camp."
When the quarterbacks return for organized offseason workouts, the offense will be ready. Joseph said that Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy has already completed "probably 60 percent" of the offensive scheme.
"Moving forward, he's going to tweak some more things after the Combine to finish it up," McCoy said.
The scope of the quarterback position could change during free agency, but for now, Joseph said he's "satisfied with those two young kids."
"Well, we're set at the moment, obviously. With free agency starting next week, any player that can help us moving forward and can help our team get better, we're going to obviously research and look into. But right now, we've got two young guys that we believe in," Joseph said.
"Right now we've got two guys, and no one's available that we can even talk about."
- BRONCOS TO INTERVIEW CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY**
The coach added that the team plans to interview the Stanford star, Valor Christian product and son of former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey on Thursday night.
Joseph added that he was not concerned that the younger McCaffrey would be unable to handle the extra pressure that could go along with being drafted by the Broncos because of his background.
"Absolutely not. This kid's a really good football player," Joseph said. "You watch the tape, he's a pro's pro. So I'm excited to watch him this weekend and interview him [Thursday] night."
Added Elway: "Knowing what I know of Christian -- and knowing how competitive he is -- I think that he's got a great deal of respect for his dad, but I think he also looks at himself, that he's going to blaze his own trail. The expectations that he has of himself are awful high." **
- WILLIAMS, WEBSTER WILL TEST MARKET**
Elway said that Sylvester Williams and Kayvon Webster will hit the open market when free agency begins March 9, which could mean the Broncos have to absorb the loss of both their starting nose tackle and their season-long defensive captain.
"[Williams] wants to see the market," Elway said. "We've had conversations with his agent. It sounds like that theywant to hit the market and find what is out there."
For Webster, other teams may offer playing time that the Broncos cannot with Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby all in firm command of the top three cornerback spots.
"With the corners that we have, and the situation that he's in, obviously, it's a good thing for him to hit the market," Elway said. "We never want to lose anybody, but there's so much turnover year after year that you know that's going to happen. I'm hopeful that Kayvon gets something that is good for him."
Follow Head Coach Vance Joseph and Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway's first day at the 2017 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. (photos by Ben Swanson)
- MATT PARADIS EXPECTED TO BE READY FOR TRAINING CAMP**
That's the target date for the center's return after he underwent his second hip surgery last month -- a procedure that "went well," Joseph said.
Although the line is in flux, Paradis appears to be the most secure component of that group, earning praise from McCoy last month, describing him as "a great guy to have up front."
"I love the way he plays the game," McCoy said. "His toughness, his approach, his love of the game. You love that guy that just shows up every Sunday and plays -- and fights through a lot of [injuries]."
*6. LOOKING AHEAD: T.J. WARD *
The starting safety's four-year contract expires after this season, and while Elway said that the team will look into a potential extension in the offseason, there are other moving parts that must be considered.
"I think we have to look at where we fall in and how we can do something with the money -- what we have available next year, and who else is up next year," Elway said.
The Broncos gave an extension to fellow safety Darian Stewart last season, and also drafted Justin Simmons and Will Parks last year.
7. JOSEPH WANTS TODD DAVIS BACK
Davis is set to become a restricted free agent March 9, but Joseph praised the veteran of three Broncos seasons, saying that Davis "fits the mold of what we want" from a middle linebacker.
"He's a physical, downhill 'mike' 'backer," Joseph said, adding that he wants to continue the Davis-Brandon Marshall partnership. Marshall signed a long-term extension last June after being a restricted free agent.