ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Of all the things Mike McCoy has said since he returned as Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, his comment about working with quarterbacks is rock solid.
"I've worked with all kinds of quarterbacks. I think we can make an offense that works for all our quarterbacks," McCoy said. "... I think I can make any of our quarterbacks better and adjust to what they do best."
McCoy, the former San Diego Chargers head coach, has indeed "worked with all kinds of quarterbacks." This is the guy, after all -- with the help of current Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase -- who took apart a traditional pro offense in a week to install an option-based attack for Tim Tebow in 2011.
After the 2011 season ended with that option-based attack cratering in a blowout loss to the New England Patriots in the divisional round, the Broncos signed Peyton Manning. In that overhaul, McCoy and Gase went from an option-based run offense to a no-huddle attack with Manning taking snaps out of the shotgun.
Former Broncos coach John Fox joked: "We wanted to see if we could go all the way from one side of the deal on offense, all the way over to the other."
McCoy can, and will, work with any quarterback the Broncos put behind center. And that flexibility, that versatility, is something McCoy has emphasized since his arrival for his second stint with the Broncos -- he served as Denver offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012.
"This is going to be a very player-friendly system," McCoy has said. "I think that is one thing we have always done. ... I think we're always going to try and do what the players do best."
The proof will always be in their actions in free agency, but the Broncos, from general manager John Elway to coach Vance Joseph to McCoy, have said the plan is to pick Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch to be the team's starting quarterback next season.
Siemian and Lynch will work in the same playbook, but they are different players with different levels of experience in NFL offenses and different physical skills. Former Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, who picked Siemian as the team's starter last season, saw him as more NFL-ready. He believed he has the ability to handle "a ton of information" for quicker decision-making and a better ability to throw the ball on time.
But Kubiak also saw Lynch's physical abilities and size as assets. Kubiak said earlier this month the learning curve remains a little steeper for Lynch, who did not call plays, use many audibles, play under center or work out of a huddle at the University of Memphis.
That means McCoy and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave will have to adjust for each player. Musgrave, who was the Oakland Raiders' offensive coordinator last season and who hired McCoy for his first job as an NFL assistant in Carolina, is another former playcaller.
Joseph has said a major key to the Broncos' potential success will be how McCoy and Musgrave, who have both called plays before, work together. Broncos tight ends coach Geep Chryst also has called plays previously.
Asked if he hoped there was some creative tension between McCoy and Musgrave, Joseph said: "I hope so. That tension is always good tension.
"They've all called plays. So that's exciting for us. But with those personalities, it won't be an issue ... [Musgrave] called plays for a playoff team a year ago and he's been great with young quarterbacks. Mike mentioned it -- he kind of broke Mike into the business, so having that relationship between those two guys, it's going to be awesome for us to have all those minds come into one game plan each week. It's going to be important."
McCoy did not call plays in his four seasons as the Chargers' head coach (2013-16), but he said he has a "burning desire" to call plays with Denver. He also promised to call for input with the intention of making it work for the quarterbacks.
"For four years, I've kind of missed that," McCoy said. "I'm excited to get back in this and call plays. I think a great thing about my job is the staff we've put together. ... I think these coaches are going to learn that I talk a little bit more on the headsets on game day. I'm going to ask for a lot of input."