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Vance Joseph preaches 'open' battle at QB for Broncos

Broncos football czar John Elway has zero doubt about Vance Joseph's ability to lead Denver back into the playoffs.

Introducing the team's new head coach on Thursday, Elway quipped to reporters: "I will say this, he's very smart. He's an ex-quarterback."

Joseph comes to Denver after spending the past season running the defense of the Miami Dolphins. His resume is bathed in rich experience training players on that side of the ball, but Joseph knows what Denver must do if it plans to return to glory: Find and mold a franchise quarterback.

"It's gonna be an open competition," Joseph said of the race between last year's starter, Trevor Siemian, and first-round pick Paxton Lynch.

"I've watched Trevor -- obviously he's got more experience," Joseph said, calling the 2016 starter "smart, fast with the ball" and reliable under center.

Lynch also drew praise for his size and athletic ability, with Joseph calling his inherited signal-callers "both young, both capable."

Asked what kind of scheme he'd like to run, Joseph said point-blank: "I want an offense that's attacking."

"When you play (against) an offense that's attacking, it makes you be careful with your calls," Joseph said of being a defensive coach, adding: "I want an offense with swagger, with up-tempo and with a chance to score points."

Elway expressed comfort in Joseph managing both sides of the ball.

"You think he only knows the defensive side, but he's aware of what we need to do on the offensive side, too," Elway said. "I think that's why the combination is tremendous."

Here's what else we learned from Joseph during his introductory meet-and-greet with the media:

  1. After calling plays for the Dolphins' defense this season, Joseph made it clear that he'd rather not handle that chore as head coach. With Broncos defensive backs coach Joe Woods looming as a potential choice for coordinator, Joseph was asked if Wade Phillips -- who ran the show the past two seasons -- was still in the running to keep his job.

"Wade's a free agent. He's free to go where he wants to go," Joseph said, calling all decisions around his coaching staff "a work in progress."

  1. It's clear that Elway views Joseph as someone the team can seamlessly transition toward the future with, saying of the Broncos: "This team is less than a year removed from a world championship. It's not been a year since we won the Super Bowl ... so it was very important to find somebody to fit the culture that we had and (who) also had a philosophy of the culture that we have in this building. And Vance checks that box. He has that."

Elway cited Joseph's past work with former Broncos coach Gary Kubiak during their days together in Houston, but also referenced his new coach's unique style and philosophy, saying: "You're gonna get to know Vance here in the coming months ... I think you'll see the type of man he is and what he believes in. The leadership qualities that he has are tremendous and will carry on what started with John Fox and went to Gary Kubiak, and he'll carry that on, and that's why I believe he's a perfect fit for us."

  1. Asked what he expected of his new players, Joseph kept it short: "Just come to work, just come to work."

Going out of his way to thank his mentors -- Kubiak, Adam Gase, Mike Singletary, Marvin Lewis and Mike Nolan -- Joseph swatted down the idea that he might fold under the weight of such a pressure-packed job in Denver.

"I'm embracing it," Joseph said. "I want players to embrace it."

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