Good morning, Broncos Country!
The Broncos new coaching staff is almost complete, and it will be interesting to watch how Vance Joseph, Mike McCoy, Joe Woods, Brock Olivo and their position coaches craft a postseason revival in the 2017 season to make the Broncos great again.
The biggest questions will be on offense as McCoy and Bill Musgrave figure out who to use at quarterback, what scheme will best fit the offensive line, how to take advantage of the squad’s elite wide receiver talent while finding a consistent slot receiver, a not-so-fragile tight end and a running back who can stay healthy and run forward. Plus...finding a way to use the toughest guy out there - fullback Andy Janovich.
It's possible. McCoy and Davidson have had offenses that made great use of the FB, especially in Carolina with Brad Hoover. https://t.co/cgm4rCYSCP— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 19, 2017
The first piece of the 2017 resurgence puzzle lies with John Elway finding some top free agent talent while also getting a few players in the draft who hopefully can contribute right away.
The second piece lies with these coaches getting the most out of their players. Fortunately, all signs point to this being a strength of Vance Joseph’s new staff.
In an interview with Peter King this week via his MMQB podcast, Joseph mentioned how three coaches in particular have influenced his approach, and it’s pretty great stuff.
King asked Joseph what he took away from his time working with Mike Singletary, Mike Nolan and Wade Phillips:
Joseph: "Mike Singletary was a guy who could lead men through fire. Guys would follow Mike. He was honest, transparent with players. Players loved playing for Mike. Mike wasn’t easy to play for, but players enjoyed his honesty, demanding personality. Mike shows you you can coach players hard without being a jerk. That’s important. Mike taught me that lesson."
Joseph: "Mike taught me how to prepare for NFL offenses. Mike was so detailed. He was truly a grinder. He would push me to always have answers. "I’d say, ‘Mike, I like Cover 8.’ He would say, ‘Why? Why do you like Cover 8?’ So before I brought something to Mike, I’d make sure it was vetted. Because if not, Mike would poke holes in. That became my habit - making sure it was right, being detailed with game plans, with calls. He was a great football mind. That part I really appreciated." (*editor’s note: this lesson is my favorite. Imagine how a few questions like this the past season could have helped?)
Joseph: "He’s a Hall-of-Fame coach. But Wade taught me this - players first; scheme second. Everything Wade did was based on the players. I never had a bad day with Wade. If it was a win by 50, it was a loss by 50. He’s a firm believer in doing what players do best - and do it often. Wade would say, ‘you don’t manage players, you work with players.’ Every player that plays with him, they love him. Because Wade allowed them to be themselves but still do their job."
So...honesty and transparency with players, a well thought-out and justified game plan for the opponent, and matching scheme to players?
Oh, yes, please!
Mel Kiper Jr.: "If you want a tight end, this is the year you should be able to get one."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 19, 2017
On the matter of Vance Joseph and allegations
It’s been mentioned several times and questioned on several threads here why MHR has not done a story on the fact that the new head coach was accused of sexual assault back in 2003 when he was a position coach with University of Colorado.
I wrote this in a comment on a fan post to help explain our position, but it seems worthwhile to put it out here as well.
First, we don’t like referring to all of this as a "non-story" because that trivializes a situation that should not be trivialized. And the fact that it is a serious situation related to the man who was just hired as the Broncos coach does make it "news" to the extent people are talking about it. However, it’s very important to understand what the actual "story" is and that just because it has become news in the media, doesn’t mean it’s a development we need "to cover."
Our current media landscape – where things become "news" just because someone posts it on social media – is not the best barometer for what to cover. And although we will cover "rumors" as they pertain to who might be hired, whether a player is staying or leaving, or what contracts may or may not look like, we will not cover rumors about criminal allegations. That is both legally and ethically a bad move.
In this story, the situation comes from 2003-04 when allegations against Joseph were investigated while CU was being investigated for recruiting violations. The Daily Camera – the Boulder-based paper whose original 2003 story was circulated across social media as soon as Joseph was hired – reported "Joseph was not arrested or charged in the case; one of the women declined to speak to police, and the other told detectives she didn’t want to press charges."
Joseph is not guilty of committing a crime and nothing new has come up. So to join those circulating an old report in which he was not charged with anything, would be to contribute to the sleaze that permeates Internet news.
The Broncos also have not addressed it officially, but Joseph did tell the Denver Post that accusations of sexual assault were false: "That was resolved a long time ago. For myself, for my family, for the Denver Broncos, I’m disappointed and embarrassed. I was a young guy and it showed to my immaturity and irresponsibility in my life when I was younger. But I’ve grown so much and that’s why I’m disappointed, because I’ve grown so much as a person, as a coach, as a father, as a husband. Everyone who knows me knows that I try to live my life the right way, and I regret that my name is even associated with this."
Obviously there was a situation that should not have happened. There was not a crime that we needed to report, nor was there good, ethical, journalistic reason to do a story. Frankly, I’m proud of the fact that – unlike Mike Klis and 9NEWS – we did not join the wolfpack journalism and "report" that there had been an accusation 15 years ago that never amounted to anything.
Until something of news value is reported, we’ll keep talking about Joseph planning for the 2017 football season.
Like that segué? Here is a list of important NFL dates for the coming months of offseason. Notice that I did not include the conference championship game or Super Bowl dates here...because who cares about those games now anyway? ;)
Jan. 21: East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Jan. 28: Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.
Jan. 29: NFL Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla. (Broncos now have five players
Feb. 15: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
Feb. 28 to March 6: Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 1: Prior to 2 p.m. MT, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 7-9: During the period beginning March 7 at 10 a.m. MT and ending March 9 at 1:59:59 p.m MT, clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 2 p.m. MT on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 2 p.m. MT on March 9. During the two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.
March 9: The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 2 p.m. Mile High time. The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 9:59:59 p.m. Mile High time.
March 9: Trading period for 2017 begins at 2 p.m. Mile High time after expiration of all 2016 contracts.
March 26-29: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Az.
April 3: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 21: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
April 26: Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
April 27-29: NFL Draft (Philadelphia).
Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the week
Kiszla: If Broncos say bye to DeMarcus Ware, bring Calais Campbell home to Denver
I know, I know. Kiz makes my pick of the week, what's happening? But it's actually a thoughtful article with a reasonable opinion!
From the Archives: How Rick Dennison has quietly helped to engineer Broncos history, future
This was a fantastic article written when Dennison came to Denver with Kubiak two years ago. I know Dennison is not popular around here, but as Broncs55 pointed out to me (Broncs55 is a cousin to Rico), the former No. 55 truly bleeds Orange and Blue - perhaps more than any other Bronco, and that includes Elway. He grew up a Broncos fan living in Fort Collins (down the street from me!), played for Rocky Mountain High School and Colorado State before joining his hometown team, the Broncos. He retired from football when his wife got sick with cancer. After her death, Dennison got back into coaching and eventually made his way back to Denver with Gary Kubiak and Mike Shanahan. Whatever his faults as a coach, he loves this team and franchise, and I will personally be hoping he's very successful in Buffalo.
Horse Tracks - Broncos
After being tested by Chris Harris Jr., Kalif Raymond ready to apply tough lessons
Harris "knows where you're going before you're going," said Raymond, so the rookie receiver had to adjust during their daily practice duels.
Fixing Broncos' run defense will require help at linebacker - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
Even if Brandon Marshall rebounds in 2017, the Broncos will look to the draft and free agency to add depth at linebacker.
What does Broncos' hiring of Raiders OC Bill Musgrave mean for AFC West? - Oakland Raiders Blog- ESPN
If Bill Musgrave does the same kind of work in Denver that he did in Oakland, the division might have to beware of the Broncos.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. mocks Garett Bolles to Broncos, but sees depth at tight end, defense
Bolles was one of three offensive tackles in Kiper's first mock, largely because he considers this a "mediocre year" for OTs.
Broncos interviewed Toledo OT Storm Norton during East-West Shrine Game week | Broncos Wire
The Denver Broncos interviewed Toledo offensive tackle Storm Norton after practice leading up to the East-West Shrine Game this week.
NFL rescinds T.J. Ward’s $9,115 fine for slamming Julian Edelman | Broncos Wire
The NFL has decided to rescind T.J. Ward's fine for slamming New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman to the ground in Week 15.
Rick Dennison set to become Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator
Newly hired Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is turning his offense over to former Denver Broncos coordinator Rick Dennison.
Vance Joseph of Denver Broncos -- Sexual assault claims from 2004 'false'
New Broncos coach Vance Joseph has refuted sexual-assault allegations from 2004 that have resurfaced since his hiring last week and said he regrets even being associated with them.
Antonio Brown leads Top-10 No. 1 WRs in separation - NFL.com
But Broncos' own Emmanuel Sanders makes the list at No. 6.
Horse Tracks - NFL news
Jaguars may release tight end Julius Thomas this offseason | Broncos Wire
The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to cut tight end Julius Thomas just two years after giving him a $46 million contract. "Just say no," Broncos.
Browns set to sign LB Jamie Collins to new contract - NFL.com
The Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing a long-term contract with the LB, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Oakland Raiders file Las Vegas relocation paperwork - NFL.com
The Raiders have filed formally their relocation papers to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, the NFL announced Thursday. The Raiders would need approval from team owners before moving.
Gonzalez: Matt Ryan 'complete master at this game' - NFL.com
Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is stumping for his former quarterback. Gonzalez said on Thursday's edition of 'Total Access' that Falcons QB Matt Ryan is deserving of MVP honors.
NFC Championship primer: Packers vs. Falcons - NFL.com
Aaron Rodgers has been as good as any quarterback in the playoffs, but it would be a mistake to downplay how impressive the Matt Ryan-Kyle Shanahan dynamic has been for the Falcons.
AFC Championship Game primer: Steelers-Patriots - NFL.com
The Steelers and Patriots meet up in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday -- a game that has an Ali-Frazier type quality to it. Chris Wesseling tells you all you need to know about this matchup.