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Justin Simmons Dishes on an Emotional Vic Fangio Post-Game: 'He Was so Proud'

Justin Simmons provided his insight into the pride and emotion Vic Fangio showed in the Broncos' locker room following team's comeback win in Week 8.

Vic Fangio didn't blink in the face of adversity as the Denver Broncos overcame a 21-point deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday. Letting his embattled young quarterback Drew Lock fight through his own issues while standing firmly behind him as the starter — in the face of media calls to bench him at half time — has increased Fangio's cache with his youthful players.

Standout safety Justin Simmons lifted the lid on the high emotion pulsing through the Broncos' locker room in the aftermath of the team's now-famous comeback win.

“It was great—it was emotional," Simmons said post-game. "He was fired up and you can always hear the breaking in someone’s voice when you get a little emotional—he was so proud. A lot of times a team is the direct reflection of how you’re led. Vic was just proud because he always harps on being fighters and playing for each other and being a team.”

Despite his old-school image and persona, Fangio is using a progressive approach to finding some common ground with the members of his youthful team. That has featured a Laissez-faire approach when it comes to team chemistry, and consequently, the more open strategy has allowed young leaders emerge and they're finding their own voices by openly holding their teammates to account.

Simmons believes that accountability and internal unity proved instrumental in Sunday’s heart-stopping rally.

“People are always going to have their opinions on what we should do and what we shouldn’t do,” Simmons stated. “At the end of the day, whoever is in the locker room—we know we’re all we’ve got and we know we have to go out there and stick together. I think you saw that the whole second half—it was 21 to 3, the defense came out, they got a field goal and it was 24 to 3, and from there, it was just a battle on both sides of the ball. It’s just something to be proud of.”

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Having served his time in the NFL since 1986, Fangio has amassed a wealth of knowledge and motivational tools to sharpen the skills and minds of this young group. In the modern world of pro sports, being a committed players' coach can be a perilous balancing act. However, the 62-year-old coach has shown real signs of sinking in with his players as the Broncos have been fighting hard, winning three of their last four games. 

Empowering the embattled Lock to work through his issues and rebound positively sent out a strong message and it might just have rescued the Broncos' season, as well as the QB's confidence levels. Lock also backed up his own locker room speech at half time with on-field actions which may have averted a catastrophic offense vs. defense internal split.

Simmons revealed that seeing the offense pick up its play is translating into the defense wanting to work even harder to get them the ball back and preferably with good field position.

“As a defensive guy, I was like, ‘Alright look, our offense is fighting, let’s get a stop for them and give them another shot to get out there—better yet a takeaway, put them on a short field,'" Simmons said. "Those are the type of things you think about."

Carrying all the new-found positivity and winning momentum into this Sunday’s road trip to face the Atlanta Falcons won't be easy, but Week 9 is a winnable challenge for Fangio. With a chance to get back to .500 at the midway point, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Broncos this Sunday.

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL and @MileHighHuddle.