Denver Broncos | News

Joe DeCamillis to guide Broncos while Gary Kubiak recuperates


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **With Head Coach Gary Kubiak recuperating from a complex migraine that led to his overnight hospitalization following Sunday's game, Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis will serve as the Broncos' interim head coach for their Thursday night game against the San Diego Chargers.

"I think it will be a seamless transition," Executive Vice President/General Manager John Elway said at a Monday afternoon press conference.

Kubiak was to be released from a local hospital, Elway said, but doctors have ordered him to not resume full-scale coaching activities until next Monday. It is not yet known whether Kubiak will participate in game-planning by phone, or to what extent he can.

"We're really kind of leaving that up to the doctors," Elway said. "The process for Gary is to worry about Gary this week, so he's got some different appointments set up, and we want to make sure that Gary takes care of himself."

And because doctors advised Kubiak to take the week to recuperate and focus on his health, coaching would not have been an option even if this week's game had a normal Sunday kickoff instead of the Thursday night one at Qualcomm Stadium.

"He's going to take this week and take care of some of those issues, and find out if there are some different triggers, or what-not," Elway said. "But when it comes down to Gary's health, everybody's excited about what the prognosis is."

In the meantime, DeCamillis will guide the Broncos for Thursday night's game at San Diego. Elway cited DeCamillis' work in game-management situations with Kubiak and analytics guru Mitch Tanney as a reason why he will be the interim coach, calling it the "least disruptive" alternative.

"Everybody on the staff could have taken it (the interim job); that's how good we feel about our staff," Elway said.

But game management was the "biggest part" of the decision to give DeCamillis the reins, Elway noted.

"We're in constant communication with 'Kub' on timeouts, whether to go for it on fourth-and-1, those type of things. Just a lot of the way the game goes," DeCamillis said. "People say, 'Well, special teams is the only thing you do,' [but] it's not really, because you have to watch the offense and the defense the whole time. I think having the communication with 'Kub' is very helpful in that respect."

DeCamillis and Elway both foresee a "seamless transition."

"Kubes set a template for us," DeCamillis said. "It's seamless, because he's not a micro-manager. He does so many good things for us, and he lets a lot of our guys do their job to the utmost, anyway. So we don't see a big change this week, and we're just going to keep whatever we can do to win a game. That's the main thing."

Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison will take over the play-calling in Kubiak's absence. Dennison and Quarterbacks Coach Greg Knapp have been involved in play-calling with Kubiak since the start of the 2015 season.

"They all work together, anyway, so it's always collaborative," Elway said. "So I'm sure it will stay that way, with all the offensive coaches having input in that. But Rick will be the lead play-caller on the offensive side right now -- and he's done a lot of that, anyway ... so that should be very seamless, too."

DeCamillis has been on NFL staffs since 1989, when he joined the Broncos' staff of Ring of Fame coach Dan Reeves, working in football administration. He became a coach in 1991, working as the defensive quality control coach in 1991 and 1992 before following Reeves to the New York Giants.

The 51-year-old DeCamillis has guided special teams for the last 24 seasons, with the Giants (1993-96), Falcons (1997-2006), Jaguars (2007-08), Cowboys (2009-12) and Bears (2013-14).

He returned to Denver to work under Kubiak last year and immediately guided the Broncos to across-the-board improvement in returns, takeaways, placekicking and kickoff and punt coverage.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content