ARIZONA CARDINALS

Listen: Cardinals’ Joseph, Bidwill give locker room speeches after win vs. Browns

Oct 17, 2021, 7:47 PM | Updated: Oct 18, 2021, 11:44 am
Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator and acting head coach Vance Joseph looks on during the seco...

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator and acting head coach Vance Joseph looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

This was not Vance Joseph’s first foray into postgame speeches.

He led the Denver Broncos as the head coach from 2017-18, and his leadership abilities made him a favorite candidate to join Kliff Kingsbury’s staff with the Arizona Cardinals three years ago — both because Kingsbury was a first-time NFL coach and OK with delegating his defense to someone else.

So Joseph not only was acting head coach Sunday during a 37-14 win against the Cleveland Browns because Kingsbury was scratched from traveling after testing positive for COVID-19. Joseph was also in charge of giving a postgame speech after the victory.

It predictably didn’t sound like his first rodeo.

“This is part of a story, right? It’s part of a story. Leadership, awesome all week guys. No one wavered, no one blinked,” Joseph told his players in a recording of released by the team.

In the audio recording, Joseph gives Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill the floor to hand out game balls.

Bidwill began by praising assistant receivers coach Spencer Whipple, who took on Kingsbury’s play-calling duties. The owner also gave credit to Joseph, plus offensive line coach and run game coordinator Sean Kugler, who helped Whipple execute Kingsbury’s gameplan.

Bidwill had Kingsbury join in on the special locker room moment via FaceTime.

“What you guys did today was extraordinary,” the owner said. “Special shoutout: Spencer did an incredible job — V.J., Coach Kugs … So many incredible odds stacked against us for what we just went through. What it came down to was the amazing character in this locker room and the amazing leadership in this locker room.”

Front-seven members Chandler Jones, Zach Allen, Corey Peters, plus quarterbacks coach Cam Turner joined Kingsbury at home for the game in Cleveland due to COVID-19 restrictions as well.

That’s not to mention the team is down starting center Rodney Hudson and tight end Maxx Williams.

Add it all up, and Arizona dominated despite missing several key pieces from the staff and the roster.

The team held things down anyway. And with the epitome of a team win, Bidwill gave game balls to everyone.

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