Broncos coach Vance Joseph finds efficiency in first practice brevity

Posted at 1:59 PM, Jul 27, 2017

DENVER -- Forget the music. Disregard the 3,792 fans on the grassy incline at Dove Valley. To understand why this is not your father's Broncos training camp, check your watch.

Coach Vance Joseph began his tenure with a 90-minute practice on the first day. Dan Reeves had not run his first Oklahoma drill by then. The modern NFL calls for efficiency in brevity. 

"This was the plan," Joseph said. "We got everything done."

It worked according to the blueprint. The players walked out of the locker room at 9:30 a.m., and began signing autographs at 11 a.m. sharp. Nothing seemed lost, missed or neglected.

"I thought we went 2 1/2 hours. I really did," linebacker Brandon Marshall said.

The practice commenced with red zone drills. It was an alarms-blaring, welcome-to-training-camp moment for Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. 

"It's a nightmare for the quarterbacks," linebacker Brandon Marshall said. "It's a small space to complete passes, and you add in our pass rush, and it's difficult."

Siemian and Lynch appreciated the script flip. Red zone drills typically occur last. 

"I thought it was really smart. It saves guys' legs. And I think guys took to it well," Siemian said. "It was a little further ahead in the install, which was good too. It got guys thinking at the same time. It was a really productive day."

Added Lynch, "I am way more comfortable in this scheme."

Joseph admitted the evaluation of the position has begun. But it's not on stats alone. Hardly. He liked what he saw from Siemian and Lynch, for instance, regarding composure and command of the huddle. There will not be any easy days. Asked who won between Siemian and Lynch on the first day, All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib blurted, "the defense."

Siemian and Lynch continue to manage this derby -- 104.3 The Fan calls camp 'The Decision' with accompanying orange shirts for fans -- with narrow focus. Siemian is showing more of his dry wit to the media, which long ago made him popular with teammates.

"My goal is to be better tomorrow than the No. 13 slappy you saw out there today," Siemian said.  "We aren't hiding information from each other. We are competing and pushing each other."

Lynch, as his custom, exuded emotion. He brings a youthful enthusiasm to the position, and demonstrated it after completing a short touchdown pass to running back C.J. Anderson.

"I'm a guy that's gets excited because I get to play football everyday," Lynch said.

Lynch matched Siemian's sense of humor with the line of the day. He was asked about his chopped up sleeveless shirt. He produced a new version of "Suns out, guns out."

"A coach at Memphis told me, 'trees don't grow in the shade,'" Lynch said.

The clock continues to tick on the quarterback choice. Ideally, Joseph would decide on a starter before the third preseason game. He is not going to rush it. And, let's be clear, whether a practice is brief or lengthy, pads are required for real conclusions. The first day for those arrives Sunday.

"The pads are critical. That's why camp is so important," Joseph said. "Obviously, playing good football, running the football, stopping the run, honestly that all starts with the pads on, even for the quarterbacks."


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Want Broncos news? Denver7 Broncos insider Troy E. Renck is your source. He talks to the players, covers the games and reports scoops on Denver7 and the Denver7 app. He is a CU grad who has covered pro sports in Colorado since 1996, including 14 years at The Denver Post. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and’s Broncos page. Troy welcomes most of your emails at