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Nathaniel Hackett appreciates Mike Purcell’s passion and understands it

Peter King and Myles Simmons run through their candidates for NFL MVP, including Patrick Mahomes for his leadership on and off the field and Justin Jefferson for his game-changing plays with the Minnesota Vikings.

Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett professed ignorance immediately after Sunday’s game when asked about defensive lineman Mike Purcell yelling in the face of quarterback Russell Wilson. After seeing replays of the exchange, Hackett defended Purcell’s passion.

“You want every one of your football players to want to do anything to win, and you want them to hold each other accountable, and you want them to fire each other up,” Hackett said, via Kyle Newman of The Denver Post. “Whenever that comes from a player [to another player], that means a lot to him. So I appreciate [Purcell’s] passion and understand it. I just don’t want him to get the personal foul in that situation.”

Officials flagged Purcell for a personal foul on a Panthers’ field goal immediately before he yelled at Wilson. Wilson said Purcell told him “let’s f---ing go,” and Purcell explained that he was trying to provide a spark.

Newman, though, also admitted to “frustration.”

The Broncos are last in the NFL in scoring at 14.3 points per game but third in fewest points allowed per game at 17.6.

Hackett, who called it “an emotional game,” said he has talked to both players.

“I talked with Mike after, talked with Russell,” Hackett said. “Everybody’s good.”