John Fox and the Denver Broncos have ended their partnership Monday and split ways, according to an announcement by team Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway. Fox spoke to NFL insider Jay Glazer in Denver on Monday afternoon about some of the details of becoming the sixth NFL coach fired this off-season.
In the press release from Elway, the former NFL quarterback turned executive for the Broncos said that the change in the position of head coach was best for the long-term. The team had made great progress under Fox, but there is more work that needs to be done. The goal of the Broncos has always been to win the Super Bowl, like any other team out there.
With the unknown future of the team’s top player, quarterback Peyton Manning, there may end up being a mass exodus of players this off-season. Fox said that after talking with Elway, in a meeting that they were both very honest, the decision was made that both felt was the best for the program.
Fox was disappointed that the Broncos did not win the Super Bowl last season, and fell short this season, but was still very proud of the team’s individual accomplishments over the last four years as the announcement of him splitting ways with the team. Fox was very appreciative of the coaching staff and the players that helped him to a record of 46-18. Prior to taking the helm in Denver, Fox led the Carolina Panthers to a 73-71 record.
It is not known what the future of the coach will be. There are openings available in the NFL with more potentially opening up. Fox could end up anywhere that a team is in need of strong leadership. Fox led the Broncos to four straight AFC West titles. Bringing Manning on and sending the young Tim Tebow packing was supposed to bring the city of Denver Super Bowl championships. Instead, Manning has posted a 2-3 record in the playoffs.
In 2012, the Broncos were shell-shocked by the Baltimore Ravens and knocked out of the playoffs. In 2013, the team stormed through the regular season and playoffs into the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks decimated the Broncos from the first play of the game and Denver came up with a heartbreaking loss.
The 2014 season looked good for Denver. The possibility of a rematch of the Seahawks Super Bowl looked like a good possibility until Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts came into the Mile High City and dashed the hopes of Bronco fans.
Now, the question on where the Broncos will go from here is on every Denver fan’s mind. Speculation about the Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase has a good relationship with Manning. While Manning is not sure if he will continue or not in the NFL, there is indication that he has been shopping Gase to other programs as a potential head coach. It is not yet known if Manning has made the same pitch to Elway since the announcement of Fox leaving the team.
NFL.com thinks that Gase is the logical pick for the Bronco’s new head coach. Jeff Darlington of NFL’s Media, reported that Elway has spoken to the entire coaching staff, including Gase and another potential NFL head coach, Jack Del Rio, letting the staff know that even though they are under contract with the Broncos, they are free to talk to other NFL teams about coaching positions.
The decision that Fox would split ways with the team, which CBS Sports reports happened less than 24 hours after the Broncos season ended, has already sparked speculation that teams like the New York Jets or the Chicago Bears may pounce on the coach. It is not fully clear about how much money the Broncos still owe the 59-year-old who still had two years left on his contract. The contract was a three-year, $16.5 million extension that Fox signed in April of last year.
Commentary by Carl Auer