ENGLEWOOD — Vic Fangio didn't mince words Wednesday when asked about Jon Gruden resigning as the Raiders' head coach this week.
Gruden resigned Monday after it was revealed he had sent racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments via email between 2011-2018, according to an article by the New York Times. The story has taken the NFL and sports world by storm, as the Broncos and Raiders prepare to play Sunday.
“There’s no place in the world, let alone our league, for the opinions that were expressed and especially the words used to express those opinions,” Fangio said. “Myself and the organization are definitely against that. It was a bad situation.”
Fangio wasn't the only Bronco asked about Gruden's comments and resignation, as safety Justin Simmons also addressed the situation. Simmons, a team captain, has been a leading voice for the Broncos in social justice and other off-the-field matters, being the Broncos' 2020 nominee for the Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award.
"It could be concerning at times because you just don’t know people’s intentions, people’s thoughts, their motives, and their heart posture," Simmons said. "Guys in the locker room talk about that stuff, and I think that’s why it’s important. We’ve been talking about it or at least really putting a spotlight on it in the past few years, especially in the NFL. We have the logos on the back of the helmets and in the back of the end zones. I think that’s why it’s important to have different cultures in those positions because you’re not getting it all from one set of any type of person.
"Obviously qualified — you’ve got to be qualified to be able to be in those positions. I think that’s why it’s important that you get different backgrounds, you get different opinions, and you get different things flowing in that aspect.”
As for how this will affect Sunday's game, the Broncos still expect the Raiders' best shot, despite them losing their head coach and offensive playcaller, as Gruden also served as the team's offensive coordinator. The Raiders have promoted special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia as interim head coach.
“Knowing (Raiders quarterback) Derek (Carr) personally, I know he’s a guy who will rally those guys together,” quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said. “He’s a great leader, a great man and a lot of people respect him. I know he’s a guy capable of pulling his troops together and keeping them focused.”
Running back Melvin Gordon (lower leg), safety Kareem Jackson (back), linebacker Alexander Johnson (rest), tackle Bobby Massie (rest) and cornerback Mike Ford (knee) did not practice Wednesday. Meanwhile, outside linebacker Von Miller (rest) and nose tackle Mike Purcell (back) were limited.
The Broncos are expected to have both cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) and running back Mike Boone (quad) back this Sunday, after both were on the injured reserve.
Fangio said of Darby: “It’s possible (Darby starts vs the Raiders). We’ll see what happens in practice.”
Fangio said of Boone: "He had that quad injury that was pretty severe at the time. He’s had a good rehab, and he’s ready to go."