There's been some spirited debate over at the Bronco Planet Facebook group about John Fox. Will he lead us to the promised land? Is he what we truly need to make that next jump? Was he just the best available at the time, and filler until we find an offensive guru? I personally love John Fox, and here are some of the reasons why.
1. He's very adaptable. The next man up must succeed... there's no whining and crying about injuries. Fox believes the next guy up WILL get the job done, which in turn instills a lot of confidence in the backups. Also, the fact that we went from Orton, to Tebow, to Manning, and had success during all those offensive shifts, tells me that John Fox does an admirable job. There's a reason he was up for Coach of the Year!!! Unlike McDaniels, who made every player conform to his vision, Fox does the opposite and conforms to the talent he has at hand. You have to love a wise, old, experienced coach with that mindset.
2. He's a player's coach. Ask any player who ever played for Foxy, and they'll all tell you they'd die for the man. The locker room loves him, and they'd kill for him on the field.
3. What he lacks in offensive ingenuity, he makes up for with football wisdom. Yes, he made a bad decision in the playoff loss, but what coach doesn't at some point? Bill Belichick has made them. Bill Walsh made them. Chuck Knoll made them. So on and so forth. If Fox should be crucified for playing it safe in that game, then Rahim Moore, Champ Bailey, Peyton Manning, and many more should be too! I betcha anything Fox learned from that mistake. Mike Shanahan made many, many mistakes as a HC. Also, don't put all the fault on John Fox. Mike McCoy got in trouble many times being too conservative as a play caller. It's one reason we let him walk and boosted Adam Gase up. This year, I think we'll all see the offense keeping their foot on the throttle. We won't let our foot off of the opposition's neck when we get a decent lead. Adam Gase is a bright, young mind... and I think we'll see a world's difference in the play calling. High octane baby!
4. He's a defensive minded HC who also puts an emphasis on the ground game (two things we struggled with under McDaniels). The ground attack wasn't there last year (mainly because of injuries and because Peyton is just so damn good), but we were the #1 rush team in football Fox's first year here. Dave Magazu (a Fox disciple), is also instrumental in this aspect. John Fox normally has a dominant run game when he's the Head Coach. He's rebuilding our ground attack with the additions of Hillman and Montee Ball. It WILL be better this year.
The reason our defense was able to... not only maintain, but actually get better... after Dennis Allen left, was because John Fox was the mainstay defensive mind. John Fox is a master of defensive football (look at some of his NY Giants D's when he was coordinator there), and that's one reason he can be so conservative on offense... he trusts his defense and they trust in him. We wouldn't have done that well with Tebow if this wasn't the case. It's not all Jack Del Rio folks - we basically have two defensive gurus on our staff.
5. He's a true Head Coach - he knows what he doesn't know (just like John Elway). Fox is the overseer... he doesn't wear too many hats, and he stays out of things he has no business meddling in. The front office does their thing... the coordinators do theirs... Fox oversees the entire locker room. He let's his coaches coach, and he puts his players in the best positions to succeed.
I for one am excited about Denver Broncos football this year. If you're not with me, that's fine and dandy, but no one's going to drown my enthusiasm in this team. John Elway wanted John Fox because he played. He knew what he responded to and liked from a coach.... John Fox was someone Elway knew he would love playing under.
There's more to being a Head Coach than just being an offensive genius (see Josh McDaniels... Steve Spurrier... and probably Chip Kelly).
John Fox gives us consistency, a solid ground game, and a stellar defensive philosophy. We just need to get, and stay, healthy. Orlando Franklin, Sylvester Williams, J.D. Walton, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme, Chris Kuper, Kevin Vickerson, and anyone I forgot... here's to you getting healthy and back with the team!