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What Can We Expect From Joe DeCamillis As Denver's Interim Head Coach?

With Gary Kubiak out this week, what can we expect from Joe DeCamillis as interim head coach?

With head coach Gary Kubiak taking his own personal bye this week to recuperate from a migraine scare after Sunday’s game, GM John Elway named special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis as interim head coach for Week 6 at the San Diego Chargers.

It was a surprise move as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has head coaching experience with multiple teams and also served on an interim basis in Houston when Kubiak would have another health concern arise and was later fired. DeCamillis is primarily known as a special teams coach having also served in that capacity for the New York Giants and Chicago Bears. Since his arrival with the team, the Broncos have become known as one of the better coverage teams in the league.

DeCamillis has given players having a hard time finding space in the starting lineup an opportunity to make an impact — players like Cody Latimer, Kayvon Webster and Zaire Anderson. The development of kicker Brandon McManus and the continued grooming of rookie punter Riley Dixon, can been attributed to the tutelage of DeCamillis. 

In his first press conference as the interim coach, DeCamillis laid out his goals for this week’s matchup with the Bolts and explained his expectations for how he would like the team to play. 

“We’re just trying to make sure that everybody can play fast, that’s the big thing," DeCamillis said. "We don’t want to confuse anybody. We don’t want to have any communication problems and we are on the road. We try to do what we thought was best for us to be in sync and on the same page. We put a game plan together against San Diego and we’ll see if it works out. We’ll try to get our guys motivated and get them going.”

Going from watching the special team units to overseeing the entire team. DeCamillis was honest and frank whether he would be doing anything out of the ordinary in his short-term promotion.

“I won’t dress any differently," DeCamillis said. "I did get some advice about my language that’s for sure (laughs). You can guess who that came from. I don’t know about him telling me that, [Ring of Fame Head Coach Dan] Reeves, I was talking about. You’re representing the organization and you always are, but it’s probably a little bit more intense, I would say, now.”

Wade Phillips, acting like a sounding board for DeCamillis, gave the coach some insight on what he should do in this week’s contest.

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“I told him to be himself. Everybody respects him as a coach," Phillips said. "All the players think he’s a great coach, which he is. And [I told him], ‘Don’t change.’ There’s a lot more things involved, a lot more detailed things involved with being the head coach, even for a week. So it’s a big job, even for a week.”

DeCamillis may not be well known to many fans, but what he does on the sidelines can’t be taken for granted. Special teams are often an overlooked part of the game but with the coordinators focusing on their own players it is typically the role of the special teams coach to keep account of different game scenarios and to relay that information to Kubiak. For DeCamillis, he is a trusted voice on the field and his being named as the interim head coach was only a surprise to the fans. 

On Monday, DeCamillis talked about how it felt to be the man in charge of the team leading up to Thursday. Surprisingly, he reacted like many people taking in big news of a promotion. 

“It hit today on the way in, I can tell you that," he said. "The day before I was a little too tired, probably a little to irritated after that last game, but it’s starting to sink in. It’s a big responsibility. There are a lot of people depending on you and you don’t want to let anybody down.”

DeCamillis is fine coach and is surrounded by one of the most stable and best staffs in football. It will be more of a collaborative effort this week but expect Denver to adopt the 'next man up' mentality when it comes its coaches.

Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.

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