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Vance Joseph looking for some swagger in 2017 Broncos

The new head coach believes getting back to a winning tradition at Dove Valley will just take some tweaks - mainly moving the ball and scoring points.

Denver Broncos Introduce Vance Joseph - News Conference Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The 16th head coach of the Denver Broncos will be looking for an offense with some swagger and won’t be afraid to make tough roster decisions as the team starts its 2017 campaign in a few short months.

And that means some work for this Broncos squad that fell short of its winning tradition less than a year removed from bringing home a third Lombardi.

But work is exactly what Vance Joseph promises from day one.

“Guys,” Joseph said as he pointed his comments to the players in the audience of his first official presser as head coach. “Just come to work.”

“Obviously our goal is championships, but it starts with work,” the former Miami defensive coordinator said. “No one gives you 10 wins, 12 wins. Our first order of business will be to work.”

And most of that work will obviously start on the offensive side of the ball.

“I want an offense that is attacking,” Joseph said, noting that playing and coaching defense showed him that playing an aggressive offense made the defense “careful” of its calls - which is great for the offense. “If an offense was conservative, I loved it because then I can be the attacker.”

But with his new vision for the Broncos offense, a conservative and predictable scheme has no place.

“I want to score points. Points win,” he said. “I want an offense with swagger, and I want an offense that’s up-tempo and has a chance to score a lot of points.”

For the most part, the new coach considers this fix a “tweak” rather than an overhaul and believes the team has guys who can produce such an offense.

Noting Broncos’ two All-Pro receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders but also highlighting “two young quarterbacks that are competitive” and “good offensive linemen,” Joseph was clearly treading diplomatically when talking about the offensive fixes.

But he also pointed out that losing a game is not done by only one group - just as winning is not.

“I’ll say this, when you don’t make the playoffs it’s probably a team issue,” he said. “I’ve watched the offense and I’ve watched the quarterbacks and the problem was moving the ball. You win at all three phases and you lose the same way.”

Joseph also hinted at coaching being an issue with the Broncos’ offensive problems this season. The first thing is having the players; the second is having the right scheme for those players. And what Joseph wants from whoever becomes his new offensive coordinator is a guy who can make that happen.

“I want a guy that fits the scheme to the players. I want coordinators that put players first and schemes second,” he said. “If it doesn’t fit the players, let’s not do it.”

Speaking carefully to the quarterback questions, Joseph indicated there would certainly be an open competition for the starter.

“I was watching Trevor. Obviously he has more experience. He had a fine year. I watched him getting smart. He’s fast with the ball. He makes little error with the football and that’s important,” Joseph said of No. 13. “Paxton is a big, strong guy with a big arm. It’s two different guys, but they’re both young and they’re both capable. It’s going to be an open competition.”

Joseph - who started as a quarterback in his college days at CU before becoming a running back and eventually switching to defensive back for a short stint in the pros - believes strongly in teams winning and losing together, and he intends to repair any “rift” that may have been growing within the locker room between the struggling offense and the usually dominant defense.

“The best teams win. Not the best offense, defense or special teams,” he said, adding that a team should win differently every week but all three phases contribute. “Obviously building a culture of ‘team,’ team-first, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit or who plays well that day. If the offense is playing well and the defense is not, then pick them up and that’s the way that we win that day, [even] if it’s blocking a punt to win a game. That has to be our culture and that’s has to be our brotherhood as a team.”

Joseph considers one of his best traits to be getting guys to believe in him and follow him, a trait he equates with most winning coaches.

And the first-time head coach is excited about testing his mettle in that arena with a franchise like the Broncos, where winning is not only expected, it is demanded.

“Absolutely,” he said about thriving under the pressure to meet that demand. “We have to embrace the culture here. Who wants to lose? I’d rather be in a job where it’s expected to win. I want the players to embrace it. That’s what’s expected and that’s the fun part about this business. Every day you’re judged on your meetings, your practice, you’re lifting, so I’m fine with that. I’m embracing it. I’m looking forward to it.”

“By the Numbers” via denverbroncos.com

2: Championship football teams Vance Joseph has played for. He led Archbishop Shaw High School (Marrero, La.) to the Louisiana 5A state championship in 1987 and was part of the University of Colorado's 1990 National Championship team.

3: NFL division titles Vance Joseph has been a part of - Houston was back-to-back AFC South champions from 2011-12, and Cincinnati finished first in the AFC North in 2015.

5: NFL head coaches Joseph has worked for - Mike Nolan (Niners, 2005-08); Mike Singletary (Niners, 2008-10); Gary Kubiak (Texans, 2011-13); Marvin Lewis (Bengals, 2014-15); Adam Gase (Dolphins, 2016).

6: Number of players coached to Pro Bowl selections under Joseph: Walt Harris (Niners, 2006); Johnathan Joseph (Texans, 2011-12); Adam Jones (Bengals, 2015); Reggie Nelson (Bengals, 2015); Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins, 2016); Cameron Wake (Dolphins, 2016).

17: Career NFL games played by Vance Joseph, including 13 contests (6 starts) as a rookie for the N.Y. Jets in 1995.

44: Vance Joseph's age at the date of his hiring to represent the sixth-youngest head coach in Broncos history (Josh McDaniels - 33, Jack Faulkner - 35, Dan Reeves - 37, Mike Shanahan - 42, Frank Filchock - 43).

132: Total wins Vance Joseph has been a part of during his football coaching career: 95 victories (93 regular season, 2 postseason) in the NFL and 37 wins (35 regular season, 2 bowl games) at the college level.

189.7: Franchise-record low passing yards per game allowed by the Texans in 2011 when Vance Joseph coached the team's defensive backs.

454: Yards passed for during his collegiate career at the University of Colorado as a backup to CU legends Darian Hagan and Kordell Stewart.