There’s a lot of speculation on the intentions of Mike Purcell’s exchange with Russell Wilson this past Sunday afternoon, when he entered the sideline screaming.
From Wilson’s point of view, Purcell was pumping him up and they’re “on the same page.” If you ask a spectator, they’ll say that Purcell was directing his frustrations at the QB, finally tired of their offense’s consistent shortcomings.
In either opinion, I don’t think anyone’s trying to demonize Purcell over what happened; the consensus seems to be that his emotions were understandable.
To be sure, the Denver Broncos are completely lopsided this season. The defense has been killing it for the most part (despite the past two outings), and the offense has been...well, I’m not sure that we have an offense right now. It’s also completely fair to make an inference about Purcell’s tone and the way he went straight at Wilson.
At the same time, following Purcell’s short interview about the ordeal, I don’t know that it’s fair to assume that the DT was directing any ugly feelings at Wilson. Players get frustrated sometimes. They get frustrated with themselves, with each other, and with the state of the game. I love the Broncos, but I, too, yell a lot lately.
Then again, I don’t make millions of dollars to win football games. So, I digress.
According to Purcell himself, he is just frustrated with the entire team, including himself, noting that he’d just racked up an unnecessary roughness penalty right before approaching Wilson.
“I had just gotten the penalty on field goal block,” he said, “I’m frustrated for everything. We didn’t do our job on defense. You know, hats off to them, they ran the ball, we were just...not good enough.”
“We just didn’t get it done. Point blank period,” Purcell said during his post-game conference on Sunday.
The head coach tried to gloss over the incident again during his Monday presser, acting like he heard it all and Purcell was just trying to get Wilson pumped up.
Watch the tape and let us know if it looks like the coach ever says anything to Purcell, much less realizes the heated exchange is even happening.
Despite Purcell’s deep frustration with himself and the team’s play as a whole, he doesn’t want division to seep in between himself and the other players.
“We have no choice but to be together,” he insisted, “We are all in this together and that is the bottom line.”
Free safety Justin Simmons echoed this sentiment, speaking mainly for the defense.
“In the run game, the d-line has to be able to trust the secondary and we have got to be able to trust upfront everyone is going to be in their gap,” he said. “It is just a well-oiled machine.”
Simmons added that many times, he and his teammates will try to make things happen themselves instead of trusting one another, and that’s where it makes them vulnerable to a strong offense.
“So just get back to the drawing board,” he said, “Self-reflection and watching tape and getting ready to move on next week.”