The Denver Broncos are turning into one of the best teams in the NFL this season, and there are a lot of angles to this team. There’s the big one of course with Peyton Manning and his amazing comeback. Some of the other stories include the defense, Von Miller and the job that John Elway has done in building this team. There’s one story that goes unnoticed and it’s time to put a stop to that.
There was a lot of talk about John Fox going back to North Carolina to face the Carolina Panthers last weekend, but there should have been more talk about Fox before that. The job he has done since taking over in January of 2011 has been nothing short of amazing. Yes, Manning landed in his lap but it is obvious that the players play hard for Fox. The job he did last season might be one of the best coaching jobs of all-time. That team with Tim Tebow at quarterback had no business being anywhere near the playoffs, and they won the division. The AFC West was not very good but that doesn’t change the fact that they went to the playoffs, and won a playoff game. Fox changed his entire offense to fit the talent he had; how many other coaches would do that. I will answer that for you, not many. Because that team made the playoffs and was on the upswing, that made the team much more attractive to Manning. If the Broncos finish 4-12 in 2011, Manning never visits Denver.
Fast-forward to 2012; the Broncos have talent and depth at every position but so do the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. How are those two teams doing this season? Fox is not in the limelight like a lot of his peers, his sound bites don’t appear on ESPN and he doesn’t care. Does Fox have an ego, of course he does but it never gets in the way of winning and what’s best for the team. The Broncos are one of the hottest teams in football right now because of two factors. The first is that they have talent everywhere and talent wins first and foremost. The second reason is because of how fast this team has come together on and off the field. Some of that credit goes to the players, of course, but it is Fox who deserves most of the kudos for bringing this team together in a short period of time.
Fox also does something that a lot of other head coaches simply do not do, he lets his assistants coach. Mike McCoy is in charge of the offense and Jack Del Rio handles the defense. Fox knows what’s going on but his focus is on the team as a whole. When he was hired two years ago, there were a lot of fans who were extremely unhappy because all they looked at was his last season with the Panthers. Fox was hung out to dry in his final year with the Panthers and that’s why the team went 2-14. The team was moving in another direction and everyone knew it; Fox was going to be gone after the season, the team knew it and the talent base was quickly eroding. No one with inside knowledge of that situation blames Fox and all of those people would also tell you that he is an upper echelon coach in the league.
The Denver Broncos are having a very good year through nine games and there’s a lot of credit to go around, but let’s not forget about the job Fox has done. The good teams, year in and year out, just fit together and Fox fits this team.
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