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'This was the only opportunity I was interested in': QBs Coach Davis Webb details jump from playing career to coaching profession

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In his final opportunity, Davis Webb was at his best.

A third-round pick in 2017, Webb made his first career start in Week 18 of the 2022 season. The longtime reserve quarterback scored a pair of touchdowns, including his first career touchdown pass, in a one-score loss to the eventual NFC Champions.

And then he walked away.

Following the season, Webb received an offer from Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton to join the team as its quarterbacks coach. Were it not for the opportunity, Webb would be preparing for another NFL season as a player. Instead, he's traded cleats for a headset and whistle.

"My dad's been coaching for 34 years in Texas high school football, so this is what I've known I wanted to do since I was little," Webb said during the Broncos' minicamp. "I could've kept playing, but I felt like this was the only opportunity I was interested in when it comes to coaching. Being able to come here, help Russell [Wilson] as much as I can and learn from Coach Payton, [Offensive Coordinator] Joe Lombardi, [Pass Game Coordinator] John Morton, all these great guys, I'm very grateful that this worked out. If it didn't, I would've kept on playing. This has been a lot of fun."

Though Webb enters his first season as a coach, he said he's long prepared for this moment. Webb drew his dad's team's plays on notecards as a kid, and he later took a leading role in quarterback rooms that included players like Patrick Mahomes, Eli Manning and Josh Allen.

Now coaching Wilson, Webb said his ability to reference his own playing experience has provided value in the early part of their relationship.

"If I put myself within the play, I'm like, 'Hey, I get it. I understand why you made that decision. I've seen it before. I've done it before,'" Webb said. "Russell's library's fantastic. He's been in the league for a very long time."

Webb also said Wilson shares a trait with all of the top quarterbacks he's worked alongside.

"I think the great players are always looking to be coached," Webb said. "It doesn't matter who you are; if you can help them, that's the bottom line. I've been around a lot of good ones. Sadly, that's why I'm coaching. Pat [Mahomes] to Josh Allen; Sam Darnold his rookie year. Daniel Jones. Tyrod Taylor. So many great quarterbacks. Josh McCown. [I'm] lucky to add Russell to the list."

The Broncos, too, feel fortunate to have added Webb to their staff.

"He came highly recommended from a bunch of different coaches," Payton said in March. "[Giants head coach] Brian Daboll, Eli Manning, I spoke to a number of people. I kept hearing the same things about him, so we brought him in. … I remember him as a player, but I didn't know him at all. He did a really good job. … He's a coach's kid, Davis is. He had a file on his computer of every game plan that he's ever had since he was in high school, then college, then Texas Tech. Then, Mahomes comes in and then he transfers. It was really impressive just going through the process. Then, the fit for us, too — especially in that room — I think will be good."

General Manager George Paton said in March that Webb "blew them away" during the interview process and that he is "poised beyond his years."

"He's really been a coach on the field since he's been in the league," Paton said. "… Really excited about the hire."

Lombardi has seen that potential transfer to the role through the first few months and said he sees good things ahead for the young coach.

"[He is a] really hard worker, and he takes it seriously," Lombardi said. "He's young, and he's just starting out as a coach. With his background, the coaches he's been with and the experience of being a quarterback where you're really responsible for knowing what everyone's doing, I think he has a really good base. He's good at building relationships with the guys that he coaches, so I certainly see a bright future for him in the coaching profession."

And though he'll no longer suit up on Sundays, the motivation to perform remains the same.

"I didn't stop playing for nothing," Webb said. "I want to accomplish my goals in this new profession, and this is a good first step toward it."

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