ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There's no doubt Interim Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis has staunch support inside UCHealth Training Center.
Both Executive Vice President/General Manager and Head Coach Gary Kubiak expressed their belief Monday in the 28-year NFL veteran. Preparing for a road game against a divisional opponent in the wake of losing one's coach during a short week is no easy task. But Elway and Kubiak's confidence in DeCamillis speaks volumes and is similarly echoed in the locker room.
From T.J. Ward to C.J. Anderson, the Broncos all voiced their support for DeCamillis during Monday's media availability.
Yet while capturing the respect of the entire team is undoubtedly important, those Broncos players with extensive roles on special teams may be the best to speak to the character traits and coaching abilities of "Joe D."
Jordan Taylor, who has handled both punt returns and gunner responsibilities this season, knows DeCamillis' spirited attitude well and has seen more than just an aptitude for special teams from his coordinator.
"He's got a lot of fire in him, man," Taylor said. "You always want to give him 100 percent, for sure. He's always got a lot of high emotions, which is good. And the good thing is he's with Kubiak on the sideline as far as decisions, as far as kicking field goals or punting and those types of things. Having him as the interim guy, it's not really going to change much."
Special teams captain Kayvon Webster, who may be the unit's most valuable player, said it's a "good fit" for DeCamillis to fill in for Kubiak. For one, Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison won't need to change their game-day responsibilities. Another aspect, though, is DeCamillis' wealth of knowledge regarding the players whom he coaches.
As special teams coordinator, DeCamillis "definitely has to interact with more players," Webster said. And because key contributors like Taylor, Webster, Dekoda Watson and Cody Latimer play on different sides of the ball, DeCamillis has garnered a unique perspective and grasp on the skill sets of players.
"He definitely knows those guys and knows the whole slew of things in terms of what guys can do and what guys can't do," Taylor said.
But as the Broncos race toward a date with the Chargers, neither Taylor nor any of the other players expect much to change in regards to playing time or reps during the game in San Diego. As much as possible in an unordinary week, the Broncos plan to proceed with their normal routine.
There will certainly be differences, however – even in matters as small as pregame talks. Asked about DeCamillis' interactions with players, Watson described him as a coach who expects a lot from players and will "call them out" when they need to be better. That honesty – a trait which is often associated with Kubiak – is what Watson said he expects from a coach.
"[He's] passionate," Watson said. "Passionate about the game, passionate about his players, passionate about our well-being when it's all said and done. I respect him. I respected him a long time ago when he was in Chicago and he's even coached with some not only great players but some coaches that I've been coached by, as well. Nothing but respect for him."
Watson said Monday he thinks DeCamillis would make a "phenomenal" head coach. In less than ideal circumstances, DeCamillis now holds the opportunity to prove it.
"When it's all said and done, we've got to be able to step up," Watson said. "We always talk about the players being able to step up whenever our card is pulled. We expect nothing less when it comes to the coaches. … I'm fully confident in the system. Obviously the organization is confident as well. I don't have any worries on my part. I trust in everything that he's doing."