Broncos and John Fox Part Ways
The Denver Broncos were hoping to get back to the Super Bowl and finish the job they couldn’t a year ago. Unfortunately they couldn’t, and it looks like it cost head coach John Fox his job.
Per reports, the team informed Fox on Monday that they would be going in a different direction. The 60-year old Fox had done an admirable job in his four seasons, but after one Super Bowl appearance and no titles with a team built to win one or more, he ends up being the guy to pay the price.
Denver will immediately begin a search for their next head coach, but per other reports, will not be promoting anyone “in-house”. Despite some whispers that could happen, that would leave offensive coordinator Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio off the table.
It’s worth debating whether or not Fox deserved to get axed, as he was only with the Broncos for four years and both won the AFC West and reached the playoffs each year.
Fox’s first season was arguably his most impressive, as he squeaked into the playoffs despite riding Tim Tebow’s magic for half the year, while the last three years were hitched to Peyton Manning.
As solid of a run as Fox had, it equated to one Super Bowl appearance and two one-and-done years in the post-season. Denver executive John Elway clearly felt there was a stagnancy brewing and opted to start fresh from the top.
What it Means
The question about Fox’s firing, is just how far does this go? Did Elway pull the plug on the current regime because he’s seen enough from the entire team as it is currently constructed, or does he just think the team doesn’t have the right man to lead them into the fire?
Some are speculating that with Peyton Manning fading down the stretch at 38, Elway could either seriously consider walking away (retiring) or the Broncos could just clean their hands of a supposed failed experiment and cut ties with Manning and his owed $19 million salary for 2015.
Of course, with news leaking of Manning’s thigh injuries, it’s also entirely possible that Elway completely backs Manning still and the real problem is Fox and the rest of the coaching staff.
Regardless of what the Fox firing means or what else will happen, he’s gone and someone new is coming in to take over. With Gase and Del Rio seemingly ruled out, Denver’s options appear to be wide open.
Denver is reportedly smitten with Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and the Fox firing could have been a good way to get one last crack at Quinn. After his Seahawks demolished the Broncos a year ago, he’d naturally be a great candidate to fix Denver’s glaring issues that find them to be exposed on offense, while also solidifying a defensive unit that already was vastly improved in 2014.
If the Broncos can’t land Quinn, they’ll still surely have numerous options to ponder over, while big name coaches that haven’t necessarily been on the radar could easily come out of nowhere to show interest in what should still be regarded a top level job – especially if Peyton Manning is expected back and everyone in Denver feels he can still be the same guy.
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