Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley says he provided a little veteran leadership during Sunday night’s win over the Saints, preventing teammates Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker from a touchdown celebration that would have drawn a penalty flag.
Thomas scored a touchdown in the third quarter and tossed the ball to Decker, who stood under the goal post and was about to toss the ball back up in the air, where Thomas could grab it for an alley-oop dunk over the crossbar. But it’s a 15-yard penalty in the NFL for players to engage in coordinated touchdown celebrations, so when Stokley realized what Decker and Thomas were about to do, he ran behind Decker and stole the ball from him, cutting their celebration short.
The 36-year-old Stokley said the 25-year-old Decker and the 24-year-old Thomas were upset with him. But Stokley thinks part of the reason he’s on the Broncos is to be the mature one in the receiving corps.
“I mean, they were mad at me on the sideline for stopping them,” Stokley told Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “It’s tough being a dad sometimes, you know?”
Four years ago, Stokley did something similar when he stopped then-teammate Brandon Marshall from picking up a celebration penalty, and Stokley said he takes a little credit for helping to mentor Marshall, just as he’s now doing with Thomas and Decker.
“He’s doing great on his own,” Stokley said of Marshall. “Now, I’ve got these other two knuckleheads I’ve got to mold. These kids, nowadays. You’ve got to put them in timeout.”
And if putting them in timeout saves the Broncos 15 yards, Stokley is willing to be the bad guy. Which makes him a good leader.