Broncos Update Insider - 1/14

The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with John Fox to become the franchise's 14th coach.

The former Carolina Panthers coach was one of five candidates to be interviewed, and his interview was pushed back to Wednesday due to snow.

"I am very thankful to (owner) Pat Bowlen and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) John Elway for giving me the opportunity to coach a football team with such a proud tradition," Fox said. "The Broncos have a culture of winning, and I am excited to continue that legacy.

"I can't wait to get to work, pushing our players to be the best they can be and representing this community as head coach of the Denver Broncos."

Fox's hiring came after three names publicly linked to the job pulled themselves out of consideration or never made it to Dove Valley for face time with the organization. Jim Harbaugh went to the 49ers. Gregg Williams opted to remain the Saints defensive coordinator. And Mike Mularkey chose to focus on Atlanta's ongoing Super Bowl chase rather than clutter his schedule.

The team did interview Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville, Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and Houston offensive coordinator Rick Dennison

There's no question that the experience edge heavily favored Fox, who's spent 21 years in the pros and until early January was the fourth-longest tenured coach in the league with Carolina. Fox also has experience turning around a dormant franchise, after the Panthers went 1-15 in 2001. That franchise improved to 7-9 his first season and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII the following year.

"You know, I've been doing it," Fox said before he was hired. "I have a plan, whether it's a bye-week schedule, a training-camp schedule. This isn't my first rodeo, so to speak. So I think I do have a blueprint to do it. We've had success -- some years more than others. But, you know, the full body of work, I think, holds a blueprint of success."

Fox also has deep ties that could help build a top-notch staff -- if Denver is willing to shell out the money to hire not only the head coach but the longstanding assistants he'll likely target. That's an open question given Fox reportedly made $6.5 million last year and Denver currently is paying off the contracts of Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels for a figure believed to be at least $5 million after McDaniels' settlement.


--The first move Denver made after hiring John Elway to run player personnel was retaining Brian Xanders as general manager.

Since that time, the team has gone to great lengths distancing Xanders' decisions from those of McDaniels. Elway even went so far as to call it a "one-man show" with the former head coach around.

Xanders would only say that as far as being inhibited in the decision-making process under the old structure, it "was on a case-by-case basis."

"We worked together, but some things didn't work out as planned in the way the decisions were made. But I respected the organization and the way it was structured," he added.

The spotlight is squarely on Xanders now.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's tough to hear 4-12. Somebody told me that and it's hard to hear that being our record because that's not us. We can't accept that. And it just makes you anxious for next year to come out and work that much harder in the offseason, that much more, because it's not a good feeling being on this side of it at all." -- WR Eddie Royal, on Denver completing 2010 with a franchise-worst 12 losses.


Denver hasn't officially made any moves on its assistant coaching staff and is awaiting the hire of the full-time head coach to proceed with those decisions.

On the personnel side, the Broncos have two key free agents in cornerback Champ Bailey and right tackle Ryan Harris. The early buzz is that perhaps Bailey could draw the franchise tag and that Harris may not be back. If the left-handed Tebow is the starter, the Broncos want a more dominant force protecting his blind side.

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