MOBILE, Ala. -- No NFL staff wants to coach the Senior Bowl. The opportunity only exists for the teams with the worst records. However, the Broncos cannot change the past. They plummeted to last place in the AFC West. The first order of business, as such, remains finding a new starting quarterback.
In that regard, the chance to lead the North team at the Reese's Senior Bowl at sun-splashed Ladd-Peebles Stadium remains invaluable Broncos boss Vance Joseph explained Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with Denver7, Joseph discussed desirable traits in a quarterback and how this week's unfettered access can pay dividends in the draft.
Troy Renck, Denver7: How does coaching the North team provide insight into the quarterback prospects like Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield (who made it to Tuesday's practice after tending to a family issue that forced him to skip the morning weigh-in) and Wyoming's Josh Allen?
Coach Joseph: "Well I think it’s a clear advantage to have a chance to work with this guys all week. You obviously learn about them as players, but as people. To be a successful NFL quarterback, a lot goes into that. It's not just the physical traits, but also the mental side and the person. To have intimate meetings with these guys, to watch them in install (of an offense) and take information and process it is very valuable to us.
Renck: Following last season's disappointment, general manager John Elway discussed the importance of the quarterback's mindset and confidence. Can that be gleaned here this week with Mayfield and Allen?
Joseph: Confidence and swagger are needed obviously. And not when things are going good. It's when things are going badly. How do you judge that? You judge that after they have a bad play which will happen this week. How does he react after a bad play? That’s confidence and swagger. That’s about preparation.
Renck: You mentioned at your end-of-the-season presser the importance of the NFL using more college spread offense elements. Can you expand on that as you prepare to conduct practices with quarterbacks who are well-versed in the scheme?
Joseph: I think it’s foolish for us to draft these kids very high from what we've seen them do on tape running spread stuff without doing a better job at this level, in my opinion, of incorporating it. Those are all the things we watched them do in college and praised them for. That's why we have to do that. It's foolish to focus and draft them on what they have done well and then ask them to change. It makes no sense.
Renck: This is not a game a coach wants to coach because it indicates the season has gone poorly. But you see a clear upside to this based on your past experience, correct?
Joseph: I coached this game (as an assistant with) San Francisco for three years in a row. Obviously, it did not work out there. But when (Jim) Harbaugh took over (the 49ers) that roster was loaded. And they had great success. Jacksonville coached this game three years in a row and you watched that game they played Sunday and that’s a product of it. I thinking coaching in this is an advantage. You can rarely miss in the draft and drafting has to be your lifeline as far as building a football team in this day and age. It's fun and a clear advantage for us.