Transcript: Coach Vance Joseph 8/3/18

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Training Camp Quotes: Friday, August 3, 2018

On if he watched last night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game and his takeaways on the new helmet rule

“I watched a little. Obviously, the helmet rule is in effect. I saw one of the plays, and I get it. It’s for the safety of the game. Again, we’ve been teaching keeping your head and seeing what you hit for the last 15-20 years. I think the offensive guys have to get used to playing with their heads up. As a runner, it’s natural for you to defend yourself by dropping your helmet because you’re going to get hit. Coaching that part, in my opinion, is going to be the tough part—not the defenders. That’s been taught and that’s been coached for a long time, with the offensive guys using their stiff arm and putting the ball in the proper hand, using their shoulders versus their head. It’s going to take teaching.”

On if the helmet rule was called consistently with what has been explained to him

“They want the spearing out of the game. They want the body position when they’re slinging it out of the game. They don’t want to see this, they want to see more of that (demonstrating to media). I agree, it’s for the safety of the game. Obviously, the spearing with the helmet has been a bad deal for a long time. That’s what they want out of the game. Again, it’s for the betterment of the game, so I’m with it.”

On if a running back runs head first into a linebacker’s thigh pad is illegal

“I’m not sure yet. I am not sure, to be honest, but we don’t want those guys to lower their helmet and have their body in a position where it’s in a spearing position. We want the tilt of the shoulder with the head up. Again, for an offensive guy, that’s not natural. We’ll see where this goes as far as how we officiate it.”

On if it frustrates him that the helmet rule is this unclear a month out from the regular season

“I think it’s going to be the same rule for all of us, so we’ll see how it falls out. Again, for defenders, it’s been coached their entire lives. See what you hit, keep your head up and don’t spear anyone. You can hurt that person and you can hurt yourself. As an offensive ball-carrier, it’s going to be different. As an offensive lineman pulling, it’s going to be different. We’ll see.”

On if he expects there to be a lot of flags this preseason so the league will have more plays to review

“I think early on there will. They’re trying to figure out also what the standard is. To me, when you watch a football game, we all can recognize a play that we don’t want—when it’s vicious. We don’t want those plays when guys are getting hit with the helmet. It’s not a weapon, it’s for protection. We’ve seen it here and there, so I think we all have recognized that. I don’t want to get to the point where every hard hit is a penalty. I don’t want to go there. It’s football. That’s my concern. Every hard, football, clean hit cannot be a penalty. That’s my concern.”

On what he said to QB Case Keenum after he threw his first interception of training camp

“He’s human. Obviously after six practices, that’s his first pick. It was a two-minute drill and it was really before half. It wasn’t to win the game. My thoughts to Case were to just be smart. We want points, but having points there is not urgent, right? It’s halftime. I brought him back to our Giants game last year. It’s a one-score game, we throw a pick before half and that game is over. That hit my head right away, the Giants game last year. It was the exact play, the exact same side of the field, a left throw, the left corner picked it and took it home. Just knowing situational football, having points there is not important. We want points, but it’s not urgent. So, be smart with the football.”

On if WR Courtland Sutton is what he thought he would be

“Absolutely. That’s what we saw on his college evaluation. He is, right now, a 60-40 guy with the jump balls, and that is huge in this league. Most guys are 50-50, but he’s a 60-40 guy. He is what we thought he would be. He’s got strong hands, he’s a big man and he’s got a huge catch radius. For a quarterback, he’s friendly. You can be off with the ball and he can catch the ball for you.”

On if he’s wondered how Sutton fell to the second round

“No, that’s the draft. We went years and wouldn’t draft running backs in the first round, and receivers were going in the top five. Now, it’s kind of reversed. Halfbacks are going early and receivers are being pushed down. It’s the draft. It’s really a need deal for every team.”

On WR Demaryius Thomas’ leadership

“I’ve been proud of D.T. (Thomas) for his leadership from the spring until now going into training camp. He is a guy that takes time with the young guys. Leadership is about service, and he does a great job of serving his younger teammates. That part, I’ve been really proud of D.T. and [CB] Chris Harris [Jr.]—he’s done a great job with the back-end guys. We’re young back there and we’re revamping the secondary, but Chris has been a guy that’s been a nice force for us in the back end. [C Matt] Paradis, [G Ronald] Leary, [ILB] Todd Davis, he’s stepped up as a leader. [S] Justin Simmons, [S Darian] Stewart—so we’ve got a lot of guys that are leading well for us right now.”

On WR Tim Patrick

“He’s a big body that’s on every day. That’s critical for him to be on because he’s fighting to make our football team. He’s also good on special teams, but again, I’ve been pleased with him. He’s got one trait you can’t teach, and that’s size.”

On if he’s seen any of the rookies step up as leaders

“They’re still rookies. Obviously they were captains in college which makes those guys great followers. Before you’re a leader, you’ve got to be a great follower. Those guys are great followers. They’re on time every morning, they’re working, they’re great pros and they study. It’s a mature class. There have been seven or eight guys that have shown they can help us win.”

On S Jamal Carter

“Jamal Carter has had a great camp. He’s a guy that plays with his hair on fire every day. Obviously, he’s playing some dime for us and he’s also playing some high safety, but he’s a core special teams guy and he’s one of our better guys. The Broncos have done a great job over the years of finding free agents. We had three play for us last year with [S Dymonte] Thomas, [CB Marcus] Rios and Jamal [Carter] in the back end. That’s been one of [President of Football Ops/GM] John’s [Elway] strengths. After the ‘eighth round of the draft,’ we’ve done good there, even this year with [OLB] Justin Holland who was an all-conference player, we got him signed, and No. 2 [RB Phillip Lindsay], we got him signed. That’s been one of John’s strengths over the year, using the ‘eighth round’ as his advantage.”

On evaluating players in practice compared to preseason games

“We’re not grading guys necessarily, but obviously that’s being talked about. It’s practice, and your evaluation obviously goes from practice to playing games. If a guy drops two balls here at practice, he goes in the game and catches 10 balls, what do you do with that guy? Obviously, everything counts. How about that? Everything counts—practice and preseason games. It’s all being counted, but we’re not moving a depth chart daily by individual mistakes. That make sense?”

On Pass-Rush Consultant DeMarcus Ware

“DeMarcus has got a rigid schedule. He’s a consultant, he’s not full-time. We’ve got him scheduled to be here two days this week, take a couple days back and then come back for the first game. It’s a consultant position so it’s not a full-time position.”

On if it’s a big deal if Ware works with other teams

“He’s not doing that. That’s private issues, but he’s not doing that.”

On G Connor McGovern

“For Connor, it started last year. He got a chance to get four or five starts late in the season and he did a good job. Moving to the spring, he’s done a good job. Connor is a guy who doesn’t make mistakes. He’s a tough guy who does things right, so that’s a great trait for an offensive lineman. When you’re wrong, someone may get hurt. He’s right most of the time.”

On how the team responded to the first off day

“Pretty good. I thought offensively we came out firing and defensively it was a little slow early on. Defense came back and made some plays, so I was pleased with that. Offensively, we came out firing.”

On CBs Isaac Yiadom and Brendan Langley

“Yiadom has had a really good camp. He’s a young guy—he’s still making some mistakes—but he’s long, he’s open-minded and he’s smart. Langley, he’s doing OK also. He’s got to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. That’s part of your growth as a young player. Once you make the mistake and we fix it, you have to fix it. It can’t show up the next day over and over again. That’s where he has to get better, Langley.”