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Mix of talent, culture, coaching needed to win, says Joseph

The new head coach is working on the group he has while John Elway gets ready to add to the team.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Broncos head coach Vance Joseph gave a short Q&A with Broncos employees on Thursday, highlighting what he’s doing to prepare for the team coming back in a few short weeks.

While John Elway will take the lead on free agency and the draft, Joseph will be cultivating the thing he’s known for and the thing he was brought in for - fixing the culture.

"I want our football team to get back to just being hardworking, being engaged every day and being good guys," Joseph said. "That's important also. Being a good teammate is important to me."

Joseph is looking for a team culture that’s about service, trust and transparency.

"And that's important in football. Culture plus talent, that wins games," the new head coach said.

Obviously without talent, there’s no winning - but neither is there winning without culture, Joseph added.

"Talent without culture, you can't win in this league. It's vice-versa," he said. "I think culture is a big key to winning football games in the NFL, having everyone on the same page."

That view may give a few hints as to any players Joseph may - or may not - want to bring in. Some free agents such as Miami Dolphins DT Earl Mitchell, who played in Joseph’s defense and played for Bill Kollar in Houston, Bengals’ LT Andrew Whitworth, Dallas Cowboys’ G Donald Leary, and even Patriots’ DT Alan Branch may intrigue Joseph - or may not.

Joseph believes the No. 1 priority is to retain your guys and then look at who else is out there.

"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," he said, adding that the first choice is always the guy whose work ethic, attitude, talent is a known quantity. "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."

But obviously, going outside for an OL and DL guy in free agency seems like a no-brainer when the current guy on the team just isn’t cutting it (pun intended).

Noting cap space and nine draft picks, Joseph will be looking to follow John Elway’s lead in both.

"Every year, he’s made a splash with free agency. And he hasn't missed, so that’s going to be John's lead...hopefully we can get better before the draft," Joseph said.

But the new head coach has also definitely highlighted coaching as a bigly part of the team getting better.

And part of that will come down to offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and his quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave working well together. Both have had bigger positions, and both like calling plays.

Could that cause tension? Perhaps...and Joseph hopes it does.

"That tension is always good tension," he told ESPN. "But with those personalities, it won't be an issue ... [Musgrave] called plays for a playoff team a year ago and he's been great with young quarterbacks...he kind of broke [McCoy] into the business, so having that relationship between those two guys, it's going to be awesome for us to have all those minds come into one game plan each week."

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Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark | The Players' Tribune
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