ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Just over a week ago, two of the Broncos' new coordinators were in sunny California instead of snowy Colorado.
As members of the Rams' staff, Ejiro Evero and Dwayne Stukes exulted in their Super Bowl LVI victory, the pinnacle of their coaching careers so far.
"To put it in words is hard," Stukes said Tuesday during their introductory press conference. "To see the confetti come down, to know you're a world champion and nobody can take that away from you, that's amazing."
Now, just days after that, Evero and Stukes have moved on to their next challenge as Denver's new defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator, respectively, but the goal will not change from the one they just achieved.
"Hopefully we can duplicate that here," Stukes said.
Doing that, of course, is easier said than done. But the experience they — and fellow former Rams coach and new Defensive Line Coach Marcus Dixon — gained from a championship season goes a long way as they learned how to prepare for this opportunity to lead an entire phase of the game for the Broncos.
"One, you've got to have the players and the players have to be committed to winning," Evero said. "But the biggest thing is that you've got 17 games, you've got offseason programming, you've got training camp, you've got hopefully the postseason. There's going to be highs, there's going to be lows, and it's really about staying the course. And it's about developing a process that you believe works and sticking to it, and more than likely, you're not going to win all your games. There's going to be losses. There's going to be adversity. And the one thing we've learned is that as you go through it, there's going to be a lot of challenges to your character and your approach and your process, and you've got to put the blinders on, you've got to have belief in what you're doing, and you've got to stay the course. If your process is right, which I believe it's going to be here, and the people are right and you stay the course, you're going to have the results you want."
The results the Broncos want is the one the Rams got — holding up the Lombardi Trophy. Over the course of the season, the Rams went all in, trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford before the season and outside linebacker Von Miller during it. After that, the team endured a three-game losing streak before reeling off nine wins in a 10-game stretch that ended with the championship. Through it all, the team kept its focus and made sure to enjoy the process, as Stukes said.
"One other thing I would say is you've got to have fun while you're doing it, right?" Stukes said. "This is a job, but I mean, we're all blessed to be here, in my opinion. It's football. At the end of the day, it's about teaching tackling, blocking, etcetera. What I learned from my experience in LA is we bonded together not only as a coaching staff but the players actually enjoyed being around each other. It was really no rift within that locker room. Guys hung out outside of it, which I think is important. Coaches did things outside of football, which I think is important, because you get to know people and how they are outside of football.
"It's not just football. Football is very important to us and we're passionate about it, but to gauge and get to know someone you've got to actually spend time with that person, and that's what we did last year. A lot of guys spend time with each other. We built a culture over there where guys loved to win. And like Coach [Ever] said, we went through adversity, but we never blinked. We never thought we were out of it. We never thought that we couldn't win a championship. You have to have guys believe they can win. You have to have guys buy into winning a championship, and then that's how you change your culture and you eventually get the results that you want."
As Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said Tuesday, the Broncos had to wait for the Rams to cap their Super Bowl season before he could put the finishing touches on his staff. But as the Broncos hope to build their own championship hopes, that wait could pay dividends itself.
"We want to win a championship," Stukes said. "We have the talent to do so. We have the coaches to do so. We have the leadership to do so. Now, we can't just talk about it. We've got to put it in practice. We've got to do it."