ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With rookie orientation officially in the books, Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph is pleased with the progress that the recently signed players are making within the system in a short period of time.
“We had nine hours of football meetings (and) we had a 40-minute practice today,” Joseph told the media Saturday. “In my opinion, that’s enough as far as the football parts. The entire goal was to bring the guys in and get them comfortable with our system. That was accomplished.”
Although the team will not begin organized team activities until next month, Joseph has embraced the opportunity to work with these young players in a more personal setting.
“Every training camp is the same or OTAs,” Joseph said. “Every kid can’t make your team, but, when you’re on the field, you’re playing for yourself in training camp. You’re playing for every team in the league. So if you can play, someone will find you. That’s the message. Stay engaged and learn what to do so you can be your best on game-day. That’s what counts for the preseason.”
According to Joseph, rookie orientation is not necessarily an evaluation process. That time period has already come and gone. Instead, rookie orientation is more about getting the guys ready for the grueling process of an NFL season.
Joseph further explained that players like OT Garett Bolles (first round), DE DeMarcus Walker (second round), and WR Carlos Henderson have already been drafted and signed by the organization. If the coaches were just now starting to evaluate these players, the team would be in a world of trouble.
“The evaluation process is behind us,” Joseph said. “It’s more now about getting guys ready to play NFL football.”
Now that the team has concluded the rookie orientation process, the Broncos will now move onto phase two of the offseason program today. Along with the rookies, newly signed free agents and veteran players will join the mix as well.
What type of message is Joseph trying to deliver to these young players? Simple, just be your self.
“Find a guy who can be an example for you and fall in line,” Joseph said. “We have great leadership, so we’ll be great followers on Monday. Find your way. Just keep your mouth closed and work. That’s what important for Monday for those guys.”
Overall, Joseph is pleased with the maturity that the young players have displayed. Players were focused and attentive during the team’s initial meetings on Thursday, something that immediately caught the attention of the first-year head coach.
“That’s important because most rookies don’t know what to expect,” Joseph said. “They`ll walk into meetings and they’re slumping in their seat and not taking notes. But this group, they were engaged in our conversation. That was impressive with these guys. It’s a good group. It’s a handpicked group for our football team. I’m impressed with them so far.”