Broncos special teams coach Joe DeCamillis will never forget his days with the Cowboys. How could he?
DeCamillis suffered permanent damage from the collapse of the Cowboys’ indoor practice facility in 2009.
“It’s moving around a lot better than it used to, but it’s always there,” DeCamillis said of pain in his neck.
The Cowboys were holding a rookie minicamp May 2, 2009, when a thunderstorm ripped apart the bubble. DeCamillis required surgery to repair fractured vertebrae.
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“It’s always going to be with you,” DeCamillis said. “It’s an every day situation. I also think that it’s also something that hopefully shaped me a little better as a person. You’ve got to learn to struggle through tough times, and there were some tough times involved. Hopefully, I came out on the other side of it.”
DeCamillis spent four seasons as the Cowboys special teams coach, leaving after the 2012 season. He served under Wade Phillips, now the Broncos defensive coordinator, and Jason Garrett.
“There were some good things,” DeCamillis said. “Obviously, we won a playoff game [in 2009], which they hadn’t won one in quite a while. That was pretty cool. I had some good relationships. I still talk to a lot of those guys in that building. That was part of it. There were some tough times, obviously, involved with it. But it worked out good and now I’ve got a chance to hopefully win a world championship.”
DeCamillis was with the Bears for two years before returning to Denver, where he started his NFL coaching career in 1988.
“I think it was an easy fit,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. “I think Joe enjoyed Denver and the organization as much as we did in the past time around there, so for us to have the ability to get him to come join our staff, I’d say was an easy one for me. Joe would have to speak for himself, but he’s done a great job.”
DeCamillis lost his first two Super Bowl appearances, with the Broncos in 1989 and the Falcons in 1998. He’s hoping the third time is the charm.