ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Monday was a whirlwind as the revelation that doctors told Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak to stay home for a week and John Elway told special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis that he wanted him be the team's interim coach.
As DeCamillis parked his SUV toward the team's complex in the early-morning hours on Tuesday, he finally had a chance to wrap his mind around it.
"It hit a little bit today on the drive in, I can tell you that," DeCamillis said. "I think the day before I was a little too tired, a little too irritated after that last game. It's starting to sink in. It's a big responsibility, there's a lot of people depending on you, you don't want to let anybody down."
DeCamillis is helping hold the proverbial football fort down this week as Kubiak has been directed to step away. Kubiak was taken to the hospital by ambulance following Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons when he suffered what was described as "flu-like symptoms."
He was later diagnosed with a "complex migraine condition" and kept overnight. DeCamillis has acted as the head coach this week while offensive and defensive coordinators Rick Dennison and Wade Phillips have remained in their usual roles.
Because of that Phillips, who has been a team's interim coach three previous times in his 39 seasons in the NFL, said "it made sense" for DeCamillis to be the Broncos' interim and that, in Phillips' opinion, DeCamillis should have been a "head-coach candidate" in his career and that "everybody respects him as a coach."
DeCamillis said the Broncos have tried to keep things as close as possible to the usual schedule for a Thursday night game. As far as the players are concerned they have gone to meetings and practice at the same times they would have if Kubiak were in the building this week.
"In my opinion, I've been with a lot of teams so far, hopefully not many more, I think his schedule is as good as any I've seen," DeCamillis said. "The way he does things from a week to week basis ... it's an incredible schedule, I think it would be foolish to change it."
"I think we all feel like we know how to do the work we need to," said cornerback Chris Harris Jr. "We'll go to our meetings, practice, watch our tape, study, so all the things we would do if [Kubiak] were here. We want him to know we took care of our business we he needed us to."
The Broncos have two coaches on the current staff who have been interim head coaches in the league in Phillips, who did it for the Houston Texans, the Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, and running backs coach Eric Studesville, who was the Broncos interim coach for the last four games of the 2010 season when Josh McDaniels was fired. DeCamillis said he also spoke to his father-in-law, former Broncos, Giants and Falcons coach Dan Reeves, in the last two days to discuss some aspects of the job. And DeCamillis said Phillips was also a resource as well.
While Phillips said he had some limited contact with Kubiak, DeCamillis said for the most part all involved with the Broncos were trying to give Kubiak a break from any texts, calls or emails. Kubiak is expected to return to work Monday.
"We haven't had any contact and I think that's the best thing for him," DeCamillis said. "And whatever is the best thing for him that's what we want to do as an organization."