John Fox becomes the 14th head coach in Broncos history
Not clinching a playoff berth since the 2005-06 NFL season has brought former Carolina Panther head coach to Denver, where he will have the challenge of restructuring a floundering franchise.
December 6 was the day that Josh McDaniels’ coaching adventure came to an end as he didn’t fulfill the expectations that the Denver Broncos had for this season. It was a short run for him, only two seasons that leave behind an 8-8 record in his career debut as head coach in 2009, and a frustrating 2010 that he didn’t even get to finish, as Running backs coach Eric Studesville took over as interim for what was left of the season. It was a tough job for a rookie to replace head coach Mike Shanahan after 13 years in charge of the franchise -where he won two back-to-back Super Bowl championships in the 1997 and 1998 seasons-, and Denver is not willing to commit the same mistake again.
They have now brought experience to their locker room with the signing of head coach John Fox to take over the position that McDaniels’ has left vacant, and in whom they trust to put the Broncos back on the map. Despite having a losing season in 2010 commanding the Carolina Panthers, with very bad results as only two games where won, the Broncos have evaluated his work as a whole –not just this past season- and decided that Fox was the right call to make.
Three 11-win season in his stay at Carolina from 2002-2010, clinching division in two of them and wining one Conference Championships in his second season in charge, which took them into their first and only Super Bowl appearance ever, were some of the achievements that caught the attention of the Denver Broncos over the other four candidates.
The other options that the Broncos were considering included interim head coach Eric Studesville, New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell , Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. But it was finally Fox who signed the 4 year million dollar deal.
Fox is now the 14th head coach in the Broncos history, a franchise that he has described as a bearer of a “winning culture” which makes him “excited to continue that legacy”. With more than 20 years of coaching experience -nine as head coach- Fox will be after Denver’s third Super Bowl championship ring and the first one in his career, after being frustrated in the Super Bowl XXXVIII by the New England Patriots when he was in charge of the Panthers.
“Energy, enthusiasm and wisdom” were some of the attributes that Team president Joe Ellis saw in Fox. With his arrival the Broncos hope to find a solution to their defensive problems, since this season their defense finished in last place with their 3-4 defensive scheme. Used to implementing a 4-3 one in Carolina, this could be one of the first changes to which Fox will appeal to in order to reconstruct the team.
Confident about his work in Carolina, Fox hopes to have the same success to turn around this floundering team, and feels that he has the “blueprint to do it”.