Broncos John Fox Should Be Grateful That "Next Man Up" is Not Merely a Philosophy

By Craig Moir
Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports

Throughout the 2012 NFL season, the Denver Broncos have had their fair share of notable injuries in certain key areas that would cripple most teams.  Head Coach John Fox, like all others in the NFL, preach the “Next Man Up” philosophy as their mantra when injuries occur.  It is a great theory, but not all teams can say that it truly works for them.

Just ask the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants, who have played most of the year with a depleted secondary and running back corps because of injuries and have to win out, just to make the playoffs.  Or the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have battled the injury bug in a lot of areas, and is looking up at the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens, who have dealt with many injuries themselves, in the AFC North.

Just take a look at the Chicago Bears, who began the season 7-1, and has only won once in the past six games.  The only notable injuries they had were to their QB Jay Cutler, and LB Brian Urlacher.  These injuries crippled them though, because losing Cutler takes away a viable threat, while losing Urlacher has taken the heart and soul of this once playoff-bound team.

The Broncos on the other hand, have lost their starting center, middle linebacker, weak-side linebacker, running back, safety, right guard and cornerback at different times this season.  All Fox has done was plug in his next man up, and sometimes the results turned out to be better than the original.

“This game’s about staying healthy, and injuries are part of this game every week,” Fox said Friday. “You deal with them. We’ve had the ‘next-man-up’ philosophy. We’ve got a lot of guys that have stepped in and done a terrific job, so good for them.”

CB’s Chris Harris and Tony Carter, S Rahim Moore, LB’s Danny Trevathan and Steven Johnson, RB Knowshon Moreno, C Dan Koppen, and G Manny Ramirez have been those next men up and have done a remarkable job at helping the Broncos get to 11-3 on the year.  This is not a philosophy with the Broncos, this is a reality that Executive Vice President John Elway has built in Dove Valley.

While other teams across the league can say that injuries are a part of football and they try to get past them, but can’t, the Broncos just keep on driving towards their goal, with not a word of distraction.  That is the mark of a good team.  That is the reason they are the most complete team in the NFL.  That is the reason why they will represent the AFC in this year’s Super Bowl.  Let the others make excuses, while the Broncos celebrate a team effort.


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