Vance Joseph has never been a head coach before. But he’s a head coach now, taking over the Denver Broncos after former coach Gary Kubiak resigned for health reasons.
It’s what Joseph calls “a dream job for me,” and not just because he’s returning to Colorado where he played collegiate football (at the University of Colorado) or because he inherits a team only one year removed from a Super Bowl championship.
Nope, it’s also because Vance Joseph is paired with one of the smartest and shrewdest GMs in the business, Hall-of-Fame quarterback John Elway..
“John is the most valuable resource for me,” Joseph said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast, “because John picks the players for me. In my opinion, that’s the best setup for a first-time head coach. I don’t want the responsibility of coaching the football team AND having the final say on picking the players.
“I think John does a great job. His track record speaks for itself, between his drafts and his free-agent pickups over the years. He’s been successful at it. It allows me to focus on coaching the football team, and that’s what I’m good at.
“So John’s been great. He’s great to work for; he’s great to work with. I have opinions on personnel, and John listens. He wants to acquire players that I want to coach. Even though he has the final say of the players we pick, he allows me the voice of asking for what I want and giving it to me.”
While Joseph takes over a quality team with one of the game’s top defenses, he’s charged with revitalizing a club that wilted down the stretch, losing seven of its last 12 starts. The Broncos not only failed to win the AFC West for the first time in six years, but, one year later, they still haven’t settled on a starting quarterback — with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch the options.
“Any chance you could start Elway?” we asked Joseph.
“I wish I could,” he said, laughing. “Some of these young guys have no clue how good a player John was. John was … I don’t know … John was a mix of Cam Newton and a mix of Peyton. He had a great arm. He had great legs. He was big. He was tough. He was smart. So I’m not sure how to describe John in the modern quarterback era.”
How about: Really, really good?
“I mean, he was a great athlete,” said Joseph. “He had great size. He was a great competitor. He’s tough to describe as a quarterback. But watching him play and being in camp with these guys for a summer … I watched it up close, and it was amazing watching John work every day.”