DENVER — It happens more often than it should in sports, players finding out big news through the media.
Whether it’s a coach leaving for another job or something else, it’s often frustrating for athletes when they learn something about their own team on social media.
On Sunday morning, many Denver Broncos woke up to just that, alerts on their phone letting them know they would be without their head coach after their matchup with the Oakland Raiders. Instead of frustration, though, the Broncos just went about their business.
“I just wanted to go out there and play hard,” quarterback Trevor Siemian explained after the game. “I figured he would address is one way or another.”
The Broncos trusted their coach had a method to his madness; he always has just as he’s always been upfront with them.
After his team slammed the Oakland Raiders, the coach did address it.
“His speech today was [that]it wasn’t about him,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders explained after he had met with them. “It’s always been about the team and he’s a team guy, and that’s the reason why he didn’t tell us anything.”
“That just tells you a lot about him as a person,” linebacker Shane Ray added in. “He just wants us to focus on the win and on the team, not on him. That’s, of course, when things got really emotional. But that tells you his character as a man, to keep that to himself, and allow us to play for each other and not for him.”
The respect in that locker room for Kubiak is immense, the Broncos wanted to look for the good in the situation, they wanted to wait and hear him out before passing judgment, and when he told them they understood.
“He’s a selfless man,” safety Will Parks explained. “He didn’t want to bring any attention to himself; he was making sure we were focused on this game and that just goes to show you how selfless he is, how much he cares about the people that work for him… When we hear it through the media we aren’t going to really believe it… but it was true. It just goes to show you how much he doesn’t care about all of that. We definitely appreciated that. I appreciated that.”
In the end, his team didn’t need some big “Win one for Kubiak” speech; they just needed to remain focused on their business. Gary Kubiak knew that, just as he so often knew what his team needed.