John Fox will reportedly miss the next 4-6 weeks of the regular season as doctors realized on Saturday that the Denver Broncos‘ head coach has a pre-existing heart valve defect that will require surgery. Of course, health is the biggest issue for Fox as the 58-year old is far too young to be dealing with such issues. With that being said, the Broncos have a division to win and it’s not going to be easy without their head coach in the mix. Thankfully, Denver has some of the best veteran leadership in the NFL.
Peyton Manning isn’t known for screaming and yelling at his teammates ala Tom Brady or Dez Bryant, but he surely has control of his offense and the players on that side of the ball. Meanwhile, the defense and special teams units are likely to be left in the hands of assistant coaches and whoever is named the interim head coach. Now, interim head coaches are definitely a mixed bag.
For example, the New Orleans Saints turned to a combination of Aaron Kromer and Joe Vitt when Sean Payton was suspended at that didn’t end well at all. On the other hand, the Indianapolis Colts were extremely successful with Bruce Arians — 2012 NFL Coach of the Year — as he replaced then-rookie head coach Chuck Pagano.
Jack Del Rio is currently the Broncos’ defensive coordinator and is the early favorite to be given the interim tag from Denver. Del Rio is perfect for this type of role as he has earned the respect of his players ever since he started with Denver in 2012. On top of that, Del Rio has nine years of NFL head coaching under his belt, including a playoff victory with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007.
While the Fox surgery is hardly good news; the Broncos shouldn’t have a problem keeping things under control in Denver without their head coach on staff.