Posted Fri Jan 14th by Monty
John Fox took the podium shortly after noon Friday, and the reign of the 14th head coach in Denver Broncos history began.
It promises to be a reign in stark contrast to the previous regime: the new coach is a polar opposite of his predecessor. Fox is an experienced, level-headed, defensive-oriented head coach of nine years; Josh McDaniels was a raw, passionate, offensive-oriented rookie.
So on Friday, Fox didn’t make promises of a quick fix and didn’t look to enthrall the fanbase. His demeanor was calm, confident, and straightforward, and his message was clear: “I’m the guy. I’ll fix this.”
If there’s one specific part of Fox’s message that rang true, it was that this new head coach isn’t going to pigeon hole his players into roles that fit a particular scheme. He’s going to choose and develop a scheme that maximizes the talents of the existing roster.
It’s a jarring change of philosophy from McDaniels, who cut, traded, signed, and drafted players based largely on how those players fit into his system.
“I’ve got an old adage,” Fox said. “You show me a good coach; I’ll show you some good players.”
Those players will even affect scheme at the very highest level. Saying the Broncos are “not at ground zero,” Fox wouldn’t even commit to implementing the 4-3 defense with which he is so familiar stemming from his nine years with the Carolina Panthers, even after acknowledging the 3-4 Broncos unit he inherited ranked 32nd in the league.
If ever there was a time a coach could get away with overhauling a defense, this would be it, but Fox wouldn’t commit to that just yet. “Right now, we’re trying to upgrade the personnel,” Fox said.
Personally I love this philosophy; it’s one of the things McDaniels spoke of trying to accomplish, but his actions never reflected those intentions. Nearly every position on both sides of the football field was completely restructured to “better” fit McDaniels’ systems, and it resulted in a gruesome lack of depth and the unfortunate departure of roster talent. Don’t expect the same extreme player turnover under Fox, and don’t expect a decision on a defensive scheme until his staff is hired and evaluations are complete.
(But it certainly looks like he’s leaning toward a 4-3 anyway).