The Denver Broncos are no longer coachless. After interviewing five candidates, the team hired former Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox yesterday, making a strong statement by bringing in a man whom some refer to as the anti-Josh McDaniels. After all, Fox has worked in the NFL a total of 21 years, nine of which he filled as a head coach. "The combination of John Elway and [general manager] Brian Xanders could use someone that's been around the league a few times," writes Pro Football Talk. Part of that experience includes turning around a terrible team and leading it to the top. When he landed in Carolina in 2002, the Panthers were 1-15. The team then made it to the Super Bowl twice during his tenure. But last year Carolina was just 2-14, the only team in the NFL that fared worse than the Denver Broncos.
Fox's expertise lies more on the defensive side of the ball, and The Denver Post thinks the Broncos are likely to switch back to a 4-3 (four linemen, three linebackers) system from the current 3-4. Fox will probably retain Mike McCoy as the offensive coordinator, a move that could signal the continuity of Tim Tebow as the team's quarterback and an emphasis on a strong running game. The Post notes in a separate article that Fox likes Tebow as a man, but says he's "in a developmental stage for sure."
Fox's first task will be to assemble his staff of coordinators, but the Broncos are excited about their new coach. "The more he talked, the more football wisdom came out in terms of different situations," Xanders tells The Associated Press. "Running the defense, the offense, the nine years of head coach experience came out in his answers. And then his personality, his energy, and positive outlook fit the Broncos' model."
Elway was a busy man yesterday. After hiring Fox, he cruised to Greeley to promote the opening of a new John Elway Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge car dealership, reports the Tribune.