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Vance Joseph looks at rookies, sees 'a class of maturity'

Head Coach Vance Joseph was the keynote speaker at Ring of Famer and 49ers GM John Lynch's annual Salute the Stars event. (Photos by Aric DiLalla)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Head Coach Vance Joseph won't get the chance to see the Broncos' newest crop of rookies on the field until Saturday morning.

But that doesn't mean Joseph hasn't already formed opinions on the class of 25 players that will compete to make Denver's roster.

"It's a class of maturity," said Joseph before he joined Broncos Ring of Famer and San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch at the 19th-annual Salute the Stars luncheon. "Meeting those guys last night and then this morning, they're really in-tune.

"They're really engaged and they want to be great pros. That's where it starts. That's half the battle with rookies; knowing how to be a great pro and working towards that. It's a great group. It's an engaged group."

Joseph served as the keynote speaker Friday for Lynch's event, which recognizes and supports Colorado middle schoolers and high schoolers.

"It's important for me to be in the community," Joseph said. "I've been gone from this place about 15 years, but it's a great place to raise a family. Obviously, with youth sports—I have a 15-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son, so I get it as far as the coaches and the parents commitment. It's our future. It's the kids."

After his speech, Joseph hurried back to UCHealth Training Center to meet with the rookies again.

In a change to the Broncos' rookie programming, Denver's newest players underwent a series of orientation meetings rather than full-fledged practices. 

"In my opinion, the practices aren't worth it when you have guys on the field who haven't trained in a football place or hadn't met with our coaches at all," Joseph said. "In my opinion, having an orientation and having media training, having note taking and security training, NFL policy training—that's really important for those guys.

"Before being a great player, those things have to be in place. It's a good weekend. It's split in half. It's a day and a half of instruction as far as being an NFL player and a day and a half of practice."

The rookies have shown maturity in the classroom.

They'll soon get the chance to show it on the field, as well.

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