There has been a lot of chatter on MHR about the Broncos FO and especially Coach Fox not caring what the fans think. We all know how much KO thinks of the fans. Most owners definitely care about their fan base. They know that it is much easier to replace a coach, a player, or even a GM than it is to regain the good will of the fans. Most coaches are bright enough to know this too. Today's head coach is as much a PR man for the team as he is a true coach. Let me share with you a couple of examples of a time when everything went wrong for a former Bronco head coach. Some of this has been discussed in other threads.
Lou Saban was the first Broncos head coach to bring the team to a level of respectability. I remember him mostly for coaching the Bills during the OJ years. But Saban suffered two firings in his career for PR gaffs. The first in Denver as reported by the Denver Post and the link is: http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_1202633
Saban is perhaps best remembered in Denver for coaching the "half-a-loaf" game to open the 1971 season, a 10-10 tie against the eventual AFC champion Miami Dolphins. The Broncos got the ball back late, but Saban elected to run out the clock, accepting the tie in the days before overtime. Part of his rationale was poor footing because the Denver Bears' dirt baseball infield, which remained on the football field, had not yet been covered with turf. After the game, Saban said, "Half a loaf is better than none." He coached only eight more games in Denver before resigning with five games left in the season.
If Tebow hadn't been named the starting quarterback by the Miami game, I was going to use this in a post asking if KO was Fox's “half a loaf,” but that is obviously OBE now.
The second PR gaff occurred at the University of Miami and my quote is taken from the Wikipedia article on Lou Saban and the link is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Saban
Saban served as head coach at the University of Miami from 1977 to 1978, and is credited with helping lay the foundation for the Hurricanes' future success, in particular recruiting quarterback Jim Kelly to the university. However, despite a winning record in 1978, Saban departed Miami amid controversy. That April, three freshmen Miami players taunted and then attacked a twenty-two-year-old Jewish man wearing a yarmulke who was walking to religious services on campus. They threw the man, who worked at a campus gathering place for UM's Jewish community, into Lake Osceola at the center of campus. When Saban returned to campus a few days later, he was unaware the man was Jewish and reportedly said "Getting thrown in the lake? Sounds like fun to me." Miami's Jewish community complained, and despite numerous apologies, Saban could not stem the protests and Saban offered to resign mid-season.
My point is that nobody in the NFL with any common sense wants to PO the fans.
Now I don't think Coach Fox was trying to stick it to the fans with the single Tebow play during the Packers game, but I understand the feelings of many who felt that they had just be given an obscene gesture. I do believe him when he said that they planned more plays, but the game just didn't provide the opportunity to run them. Some have also suggested that inserting Tebow in the middle of the Chargers game was meant to fail and reflect badly on Tim. I don't believe this either. I personally think that the Tebow issue was settled between Elway and Fox before Fox was hired. My opinion is that Elway and Fox have given us a lot of “theater” in the hope of placating the fans and the locker room while they got the offense up and running and they made the transition from KO to TT. After a couple of weeks to reflect on it, what do you think?