DENVER —** With his coaching staff in place, Head Coach Vance Joseph has turned his attention toward player evaluation and getting ready for the upcoming free-agency period and the draft process that runs through April 29, the last day of the draft.
"[Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager] John [Elway]'s done a great job with this football team," Joseph told team employees during a Q&A session at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Wednesday. "We have cap room, we have nine draft picks this draft coming up here in a couple of months. Every year, he's made a splash with free agency. And he hasn't missed, so that's going to be John's lead. I'm excited to follow John's lead in the free-agency process and hopefully we can get better before the draft."
At Sports Authority Field at Mile High, new Head Coach Vance Joseph held a morning meet-and-greet with stadium employees to get to know them. (photos by Eric Bakke)
Responding to a question about the importance of keeping the Broncos who will soon be free agents, Joseph added that knowing the personalities and talents on the roster is valuable before looking elsewhere.
"That's always important, to retain your guys," Joseph said. "Free agency's different. You're going to go out and sign a guy you don't know. That's tough. You didn't draft him, you don't know his background. That part of the game, you've got to be careful about. If you've got a guy in your building who's been good for you, you want him back because you know the guy. You know his work ethic, you know his day-to-day attitude. That's important. You bring a stranger to your building, you have no idea who the guy is. He may be a great player, but he may be a problem day-to-day. So you've got to be careful of not retaining your own first before you look outside of your building."
Building a new roster isn't the only preparation Joseph is taking, however. He's also taking steps to implementing his leadership with the culture the team has in the locker room.
"I think culture and football, that keeps us tight. That kind of intertwines us. That's the culture," Joseph said. "I want a culture of service, a culture of trust, a culture of transparency. And that's important in football. Culture plus talent, that wins games. Talent without culture, you can't win in this league. It's vice-versa. You have no talent, you can't win. So I think culture is a big key to winning football games in the NFL, having everyone on the same page."
With a championship culture already in place, Joseph knows an overhaul isn't needed, but he can add his own touch to it.
"I think every year the culture changes on a football team," he added. "Players change, coaches change. So it can be a lot of different cultures that are positive for a football team. I want our football team to get back to just being hardworking, being engaged every day and being good guys. That's important also. Being a good teammate's important to me."