ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It’s safe to say that Vance Joseph started the offseason training program on Monday hungry to get back to football, and maybe a little thirsty too.
In his first address to the team as head coach, Joseph was all business. After informing the team that they only had 38 offseason workouts to prepare for training camp, he pressed that it was time to get to work saying, “Well the honeymoon is over guys, it’s football time… It’s time to go to work.”
However, when addressing the media, he made it clear that the organization was still searching for the final pieces, specifically on offense.
“I think, overall to our offense in general, we need to add more juice there — whether it’s a receiver or a running back,” he said. “Every good offense needs a guy who can take the ball from the [line of scrimmage] and go the distance with it. That’s important to have, that aspect of an offense.”
After ranking in the bottom half of the league in nearly every offensive category — including points, yards, yards per play, turnovers and first downs — Joseph knows the offense needs significantly more “juice” to be a bigger threat in the league next year. In evaluating where that juice can come from, Joseph isn’t discriminatory, either, although most likely not in the form of apple or orange.
“Running back, receiver, wherever it comes from,” he said. “But definitely more juice from the offense is a must in my opinion.”
In the 2016 season, not only were the Broncos the only team not to have three 300-yard receivers, their leading rusher, Devontae Booker, was a rookie fourth-round pick that only totaled 612 yards on the season. Although the offense significantly lacked playmakers last year, Joseph doesn’t necessarily think the team needs to shake up the current roster.
“We’ve got [wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders] and probably two or three more guys we can use differently to create more juice,” he said. “When I say more juice, sometimes it’s not necessarily a player playing better, it’s a type of player I’m referring to.”
While Joseph didn’t give further insight into this type of player, he did indicate that playmaking abilities and versatility were key to hydrating the offense. Naturally, a name that comes to mind in Joseph’s description is Colorado native and Stanford product, Christian McCaffrey. To add further fuel to the possibility of McCaffrey ending up in Denver, Joseph said that there was “absolutely” players like this in the draft.
“From the first round to the fifth or sixth round,” he said when talking about where these types of players are available in the draft. “That’s not by accident you find guys like that; it’s on purpose. You have an idea of what that looks like and you have to go find those guys because they won’t fall to you, you have to go find those guys in the draft.”
Regardless of who is under center come September, the offense won’t be dependent on their play, according to the new coach, it will be another dimension of the offense that dictates the offenses success.
“Running the football is the ultimate way of putting the defense at risk,” he said. “If the running game is intact, with those two receivers, it’s almost impossible to stop the offense.”
On the first of 38 offseason workouts, Joseph made two priorities crystal clear: it’s time to get to work, and it’s time to find another source of juice for the offense.