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Vance Joseph sends a strong message to the Broncos' locker room

Zac Stevens Avatar
November 19, 2018

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Vance Joseph isn’t messing around.

Despite a 3-6 start to the season, calls for his job and the season on the brink of collapsing, the head coach kept his sights set on one goal.

That mindset dictated and shaped Sunday’s game in which the Denver Broncos got their fourth win of the season and pulled within one game of the final AFC wild-card spot.

On Monday, following the win that kept the Broncos’ season interesting for at least another week, Joseph divulged his mindset when asked why he decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 instead of settling for what would have been a 33-yard field goal.

“Trying to win,” the head coach shot back quickly. “Trying to win a game.”

At the time, Joseph decided to forgo the three points and instead play the aggressive card, his squad was leading 7-6 midway through the second quarter. The easy and straight-forward decision would have been to send Brandon McManus on the field and stretch the lead to four.

But three points wasn’t enough in Joseph’s eyes.

“We had three downs to get three yards. Trying to win a game. Simple as that,” Joseph said, emphasizing that message once again.

The Broncos did not convert on fourth down as Phillip Lindsay was brought down just short of the sticks. After taking over on their own 16-yard line following Joseph’s controversial decision, the Chargers punched the ball into the end zone nine plays later to take a 13-7 lead.

“And I’ll do it again,” Joseph said, standing strong behind his decision.

“I told our guys that. 4th-and-1, we’re going to go for it.”

Outside of the organization, the move was controversial. Inside, however, the message Joseph clearly sent by his actions and his words were that his team is going to be aggressive and always play to win, no matter the time in the game.

“We got three downs to get three yards. Let’s go. Trying to win,” he emphasized with passion pumping through his veins.

The 4th-and-1 attempt wasn’t the only aggressive decision Joseph made in the game, either. Just one drive before, Joseph dialed up a fake punt.

While the aggressive 4th-and-1 didn’t work out in the end, the fake punt worked to perfection as punter Colby Wadman hit Andy Janovich in stride for a 12-yard gain on 4th-and-5.

On the very next play, Phillip Lindsay darted 41 yards into the end zone.

Joseph’s do-whatever-it-takes-to-get-a-win mindset panned out for the Broncos as McManus’ 34-yard game-winning field goal sailed through the uprights as time expired.

The head coach said the win was “good for our football team” and changes the week’s dynamic heading into another difficult game as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

“Playing a team like that that’s won eight-straight, it’s a divisional opponent, and no one picked us to win that game. I think the entire team felt [like it was us against the world],” Joseph explained candidly. “To win one, obviously assures guys that the hard work is being rewarded.”

Up against similar circumstances in Week 12, Joseph’s going to bring the same mentality against the 7-2-1 Steelers.

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