Vance Joseph is standing up for his offense.
The new Denver Broncos coach said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine that last season’s offense led by young quarterbacks Trevor Siemian jersey and Paxton Lynch was better than the national perception.
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“The team won nine games and the perception was the offense wasn’t very good, but in my opinion the offense was pretty good,” Jospeh said. “They didn’t finish well in the red zone, but the quarterbacks played well. Winning nine games is a nice feat in the league and they should have probably won two more games. Offensively I think we’re close. Not as far as everyone thinks we are. Offensive line needs some help there, but we’re close offensively. That’s what I thought watching the film.”
The Broncos’ offense under former coach Gary Kubiak last season finished 27th in total yards and 22nd in points per game.
With Mike McCoy retaking the offensive reins in Denver under Joseph, the attention turns to the quarterback position. With rumors swirling about the Broncos potentially landing Tony Romo — if the quarterback is released — Joseph said he’s confident in Siemian and Lynch.
“We’ve got two young guys that combined to win nine games last year as starters — probably should have won two more games,” he said. “We’re fine there with those two kids.”
The new coach seems to be on the same page as Broncos GM John Elway when it comes to the team’s signal callers.
“We’ve got two young ones that we’re happy with, that we think can be very good football players in this league,” Elway said Wednesday. “I think when you start talking about another veteran quarterback, you don’t just talk about next year. Everyone thinks we just talk about next year, but we don’t. We talk about the impact that has two, three, four years down the line and how does that affect us now, and eventually once we get through all of those scenarios, make a decision and see what happens.”
Siemian continues to rehab his injured shoulder and Joseph added the third-year passer is “on track” for organized team activities.
As for last year’s first-round pick, Joseph said he needs to see consistency in offseason workouts for Lynch to win the starting gig.
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Broncos have declined to pick up the option on Okung’s contract. His initial deal was essentially a one-year, $5 million pact with an option on wholesale jerseys for a four-year, $48 million agreement. Only after the option would any guaranteed money kick in. Rapoport noted that Okung did make the extra $3 million available in cheap jerseys and incentives, so Okung leaves Colorado with $8 million in total.
Fox Sports first reported the development.
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Obviously this was a one-year fix for the Broncos, who never intended on paying Okung in the long term without asking him to re-work the remaining stages of the deal. His departure, though, puts a good offensive lineman on the market at a time when not many are expected to emerge through the draft or via free agency. Okung, 29, started all 16 games for the Broncos last year.
Andrew Whitworth, the 35-year-old veteran from Cincinnati, might rival Okung right now as the top option on the market.
The Broncos now have a glaring hole at the left tackle spot and two unproven quarterbacks vying for the starting role behind center. Pro Football Focus, one of the few sites brave enough to rank offensive linemen, rated Okung the 38th best tackle in football last season. Denver spent a second-round pick on tackle Ty Sambrailo in 2015 though he played fewer than 250 snaps this season.
The reality is that McCoy is coming off a bit of an awkward situation. He was let go by another team in the division after finishing in last place for the second season in a row. His fate was sealed when the Chargers became the first and only team to lose to the woeful Cleveland Browns at the end of the season. He told KUSA-TV in Denver last week that he’d still like to be a head coach at some point, but that he’s solely focused on getting the Broncos’ offense on track.
“Sure I’d love to,” McCoy said. “But I’ll say this: I am 100 percent committed to doing whatever we can from this day forward to having a great offense. And most importantly help our team win. That’s my No. 1 focus.
“I am so excited to be here and that’s why I made the decision to come here because of the opportunity to work with Vance Joseph, John Elway, Mr. Bowlen, the Denver Broncos organization and all our fans. I owe it to all those people to go out there and get this offense rolling and do whatever it takes to get back to the top of China NFL jerseys.”
I think McCoy is smart enough to know that accomplishing goal No. 1 — making either Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch a quarterback capable of bringing this team to the playoffs — will eventually lead to goal No. 2 — becoming a head coach again. Just as McCoy’s time in Denver, which saw him rotate from a collegiate-style Tim Tebow offense to a high-flying Peyton Manning jersey system, led to his first foray into the coaching world, solving Denver’s current quarterback conundrum could lead to a second.