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Vance Joseph preaches ‘open’ battle at QB for Broncos

Broncos football czar has zero doubt about ’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 . 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, , and first-round pick .

“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.

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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.”

Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of Up to the Minute Live, NFL Network’s revealed that key members of Wade Phillips’ defense have developed a high level of confidence in Siemian due to the toughness and leadership he has displayed behind a struggling offensive line.

“They’ve all told me, because of the hits Trevor Siemian has taken, because he’s played through injury,” Palmer explained to , “they have gained an immense amount of respect for their quarterback.”

That confidence and respect extends from the coaching staff as well. Denver’s offensive coaches have been pushing Siemian heavily, citing his calm demeanor and ability to overcome the typical mistakes of a first-year starter.

Whereas rookie Paxton Lynch has looked overmatched in a pair of spot starts, Siemian has shown the field vision, pocket movement, accuracy and streamlined delivery to suggest he can emerge as the long-term solution to Denver’s post-Super Bowl 50 quarterback conundrum.

“Talking to people within the building,” Palmer continued, “the thought process is that even though they picked Paxton Lynch in the first round, Trevor Siemian is in mind to be the guy moving forward for the next couple of seasons.”

If we throw draft pedigree out the window and judge solely by NFL game film, that statement should come as no surprise. Lynch isn’t ready to run Gary Kubiak’s offense — and might not be ready to challenge Siemian until 2018 or later.

Denver’s recent failures are rooted in the anemic offensive line and ground attack. Saddled with those large-scale liabilities, Siemian has flashed enough potential in 12 starts to foster hope in his teammates, coaches and front office that the Broncos are headed back to the promised land within the next couple of years.

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