BRONCOS

Broncos D-linemen fire back on chatter about Wilson’s party and the state of the locker room

Nov 30, 2022, 4:41 PM

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Defensive lineman D.J. Jones wasn’t having any part of the party nonsense.

Not Russell Wilson’s birthday party itself, which he attended Tuesday. Just the discussion thereof that lingered in the public sphere a day later.

So, moments after practice, when he saw Pro Football Talk tweet about it, he responded in kind:

So, in light of Jones making a public response, it begged the question: “What’s the truth?”

“The truth is the truth,” Jones said. “If you say, ‘Half the team was there,’ then that’s a good turnout.

“I mean, it’s a Tuesday night before work. What the **** — like, what does that mean? I just feel like everybody is so sensitive and everybody’s looking for something to talk about.”

Indeed, getting so many players to come to a single event or party on a Tuesday night — the evening of their sole off-day each week — during the season is actually an accomplishment.

“I was there. It was a great turnout. Everybody had a good time. Nobody was there because they felt like anything. People had things to do. I was there,” he continued, noting that his wife accompanied him.

“Why is everybody reaching?”

And “half the team” might have been an undercount anyway.

“It seemed like more than half the team, actually,” Jones said. “So, like, why is it even a conversation? They want to keep somebody’s name in their mouth. I don’t understand it.”

Between the speculation about the party that Wilson’s wife, Ciara, threw for him and NFL Network’s Tom Peliserro saying Tuesday that Wilson has “lost some people in that locker room, a haze that belied the clear skies above UCHealth Training Center seemed to hang over the Broncos when they convened Wednesday.

Nose tackle Mike Purcell called Pelissero’s assertion “ridiculous.”

“There’s no division that anybody wants to create in this locker room,” Purcell said. “We’re all together. We’re all in this together. I said that Sunday after the game.”

During last Sunday’s 23-10 loss at Carolina, the FOX network broadcast caught Purcell shouting at Wilson near the sideline after Purcell drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on a Panthers field goal. Purcell cited “frustration” as the reason for the infraction and the yelling.

But he noted Wednesday that he has had “plenty” of one-on-one conversations with Wilson since Sunday.

“We’re on the same page,” Purcell said. “We want to get fired up, we want to get that spark. We want to turn this around, period.”

And as Purcell noted, those exchanges can happen.

“It happens. Anybody who’s a competitor, it’s going to happen. Whether you’re on the same team or not. You can look back at even Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday. The interaction that they had on the sideline. They were mic’d up. They were yelling at each other about what’s a play, what’s the call, anything like that.

“… We’re all in this together, so we want to get that spark, no matter where it comes from. And that’s what it comes down to.”

***

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Broncos D-linemen fire back on chatter about Wilson’s party and the state of the locker room