ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After more than four decades coaching football, Jerry Rosburg has accepted a new role.
After assisting with game management since Week 3, Rosburg assumed interim head-coaching responsibilities this week — and he emphasized Wednesday that he believes he and the Broncos can find success over the final stretch of the year.
"I'm humbled by this opportunity that I've been given, and at the same time I'm very confident that I can do this job for the next two weeks," Rosburg said Wednesday. "I think those two traits are really valuable. … If we can combine the humility we possess with the confidence we possess, we can do great things. I believe that's the case right here. I've been asked to do this job, and I'm humbled by the opportunity. At the same time, I can do this."
Over the course of more than 25 minutes, Rosburg touched on a variety of topics in his initial press conference, including his coaching philosophy, the Broncos' impending matchup with the Chiefs and his interest in the Broncos' head-coaching vacancy.
See below for some of the top story lines from Rosburg's media availability:
After 11 years with the Ravens and 30 years of friendship with Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh, Rosburg said his coaching philosophies are shaped by the time he spent — and the success he enjoyed — with Harbaugh and with the Ravens.
"There's going to be things that I believe in that you'll probably see from Baltimore, just because that's who I am," Rosburg said. "The other part of that I think is there's a certain way football, in my view, needs to be played."
Rosburg said one of his major goals over the final two weeks will to be try to help implement that direction.
"This next two games, I want this team to play like I envision a football team playing," Rosburg said. "I want us to be offensively, defensively and special teams the way I envision the NFL football [game] being played. I'm going to try to do that in a very short period of time. The good news is that we're already heading in that direction. This is where this club is going. I feel that that's something will happen organically."
THE IMPORTANCE OF A RIVALRY
The Broncos have lost 14 consecutive games to their division rival, and Rosburg said it was hard for him to believe Denver has struggled so mightily in a once competitive rivalry.
"That needs to change," Rosburg said of the skid. "That needs to change. So how do you go about doing that? You put together the best game plan you can, you put the best players on the field, you teach them how to play and play together and you go about making measure of that, changing that. That's a number that I'm having a hard time grasping, real frankly, because this organization has a steadfast, incredible football tradition. It can't be that way. It just cannot be that way. I'm setting out to try to — in one week — … change the course of that."
THE PLAN FOR KANSAS CITY
When the Broncos travel to Arrowhead to try to stop their skid, Rosburg said every player that's "healthy enough to play" will be available and will compete against the Chiefs.
That includes quarterback Russell Wilson, whom Rosburg reiterated would start for the Broncos. Rosburg said he believed the Broncos had a plan to help Wilson rebound from a tough outing against the Rams.
"We're going to do everything we can to put a game plan in place for Russell Wilson to be successful," Rosburg said. "I'm really confident in talking to our offensive coaches over the course of the last few days and going through the meetings with them and the walkthroughs. I'm really confident we're going to be able to do that."
Rosburg said it was his decision to part relieve former Special Teams Coordinator Dwayne Stukes and Offensive Line Coach Butch Barry of their duties.
"I know special teams," said Rosburg, who has nearly two decades of experience as an NFL special teams coordinator. "I've been coaching special teams for a long time. We weren't good enough."
Rosburg confirmed Assistant Special Teams Coach Mike Mallory will run the unit, and Rosburg said he would also be "hip deep" in helping with the unit.
The change along the offensive line was to "move in a different direction" and make "an impactful move" with the group. Rosburg said he would let the Chiefs find out on Sunday whether the change in philosophy related to personnel or schematics.
Both changes, Rosburg said, were made to help the team in the final two weeks of the season.
"We're making these changes for the good of this team so we can win two football games," Rosburg said.
Asked whether he hoped to be considered for the Broncos' head-coaching vacancy, Rosburg said he was purely focused on the next two weeks.
"I'm desiring that we win two football games these next two weeks," Rosburg said. "I'm desiring to have a great practice here. … I'm desiring to have great meetings after that practice. I'm desiring to have players play the way that will allow them to excel in their careers. I'm not looking at it like, what's happening after the season ends. I'm not trying to build a resume. I haven't had a resume for 15, 17 years. I haven't needed one. I'm not trying to enhance any kind of reputation that I may or may not have."
AN APPRECIATION FOR BRONCOS COUNTRY
In his short time with the Broncos, Rosburg said he already has a sense of the passion fans have for their team. He said he's experienced that passion as a visiting coach at Empower Field at Mile High, and he's eager to win for the fans.
"The people are incredibly passionate about football here," Rosburg said. "They love this game like I love this game. This is in my heart. This is in my soul. The fans here, man, they want to win. I want to win. There's joy in winning and we all want to feel that on Sundays. We all kind of look forward to the end of the week when the football game start. And we all at the end of Sunday's games, we all want to be the joyful team."
SETTING THE TONE
After several off-the-field issues on Sunday against the Rams, Rosburg said he spoke with the involved parties and also set a team-wide expectation that no further issues will occur.
"To a man, they were all remorseful for what happened, which is the first step of recognition — showing regret and remorse," Rosburg said. "And the second step is to try to make it right. They went to one another and did that, and as a group they've done that. … Have I addressed the team? Yes, directly and forthrightly. No, that [behavior is] not happening again."