How sly is this Fox? Lard 1-13-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As many of you noticed, I wasn't too easy on John Fox yesterday, and I'll admit that my perception of Fox has been shaped by just a single decision of his. As a New Yorker, I watched his defenses with the Giants thrive for several years, and frankly I was a fan of Fox the DC. Where I lost a bit of respect for Fox was during his Panthers' SB loss to the Patriots; his team fell behind 21-10 at the very beginning of the fourth quarter, and just two minutes later his team scored a TD to close the score to 21-16. With nearly 13 minutes left in the game, Fox decided to go for two, and I yelled at the TV, "No, what is he thinking?!?!" There was too much time left in the game, and anything could happen from there on out. Unfortunately for Fox & Co, it did - Carolina scored another TD less than six minutes later, again went for two and failed - Panthers 22, Pats 21. NE scored next, went for two and converted to go up 29-22, and then the Panthers scored a tying TD with just over a minute to go. This set the stage for the first Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri Show, and the latter's FG ended the game.

Had Fox not gone for two the first time, he certainly would not have gone for it the second time - and the Patriots wouldn't have, either. Carolina's last TD would have put them up 31-28 rather than tie the game, and even if Brady and Vinatieri had still pulled off their magic, the game would have gone to OT. Who knows how the game would have turned out? We could be talking about Jake Delhomme, Super Bowl MVP, and no Patriots dynasty. Perhaps this is a boring or cumbersome story, but it said a lot to me; I saw a coach caught up in the moment of the SB, a coach who wasn't thinking clearly. The most important considerations when deciding whether to go for one or for two are 1) How much time is left in the game? 2) What are the consequences if we miss? 3)What happens if the next score is not what I'm planning for? Fox either did not consider any of these factors, or he simply panicked.

In the game of a lifetime, the outcome should never be so heavily influenced by a poor judgment call by the head coach, play calling notwithstanding. This was the biggest game of Fox's career, and he blew it. It may not be fair to view Fox through the prism of this decision, but I can't help it. On the flip side, that was a long time ago, and Fox has likely replayed the decision countless times in his mind and hopefully learned his lesson. The perception that Fox would be conservative on offense also concerns me greatly, although it would be tempered by the retention of Mike McCoy (who predated Fox in Carolina and worked for him for six seasons) and Ben McDaniels to run the offense. Tim Tebow is crucial for Denver's future, and continuity for him would go a long way toward his positive development. If McCoy and McDaniels get to stay, and McCoy has independence in running the offense, then Fox has my full support.

The Real Head Coaches of Denver™


Here's Fox speaking on his way to Dove Valley.

Klis on Fox's arrival and the parallels to when he took the Carolina job.

Despite Joe Ellis' moronic bluster that the Broncos would pay eight head coaches if they had to, Legwold is hearing that budget constraints could help determine who the next head coach is.

LJ takes an interesting look at the team's jump into social media. Some notable points:

  1. Elway uses a Mac!!!
  2. The DP feels threatened - LJ's use of quotation marks around "complementary" stands out to me
  3. Will the Broncos be so forthcoming with negative news? So far, they didn't use Twitter to announce that Gregg Williams had ditched them...

Broncos


Woody covers a lot of ground in his latest mailbag. Some of it is pretty good, even - except of course, for the parts that pile all the blame on Josh McDaniels and say that Woody was right about everything the first time around. In other words, his usual garbage. Paige reiterates that McDaniels pulled the offer on Champ Bailey, although he also gets the sense the Broncos are willing to let him walk. He also shares some insight into Shanny's relationship with Alex Gibbs.

Hackery


I'm pretty sure Legwold has completely hacked up the Broncos' 2011 draft choices. I have not seen anywhere that they have two 6th-rounders nor that they acquired one with Dan Gronkowski. According to Walter Football, the Broncos have a six from the Pats and their own seven. So, Jeff - where do you suppose the Broncos' seventh-rounder went? And who exactly does your fact checking?

Enemies


Teicher on the personnel decisions facing the Chiefs this offseason.

KC gave eight practice squadders future contracts.

The Chargers are considering Niners DC Greg Manuskey and a couple of their own coaches to replace Ron Rivera, who is likely bringing San Diego's TEs coach with him.

Monte Poole says Nnamdi Asomugha deserves his freedom and will go to a contender.

Andrew Brandt on Asomugha's last deal.

Trimmings


Pat Shurmur is still looking like the guy in Cleveland.

The Vikings say they're willing to pay for a third of a roofless stadium.

Mike Lombardi on the mess Ron Rivera has gotten himself into.

Luis DeLoureiro thinks the Colts should get Peyton Manning a stronger coach. After that exceedingly dumb timeout Saturday, it's hard to see otherwise.

Dan Pompei thinks the Eagles should seek a first-rounder for Kevin Kolb.

Brett Favre found yet another way to get himself back into the news - his sister is making crystal meth!

Wade Phillips just cleaned out his office, and luckily for us KSK caught his conversation with Jerry Jones.

Playoffs?!?!


Pat Kirwan breaks down Jets/Pats and Seahawks/Bears.

Gil Brandt on the weekend's key one-on-one matchups.

Matt Forte tries to tell us that Jay Cutler isn't a jerk.

Karen Crouse profiles the exceptional Troy Polamalu.

Mike Silver looks back on the Pack's decision to draft his fellow Cal alum Aaron Rodgers.

Oh, Octodad. No you didn't...

Mockery


Don Banks surveys the talent entering the 2011 Draft.

Andrew Perloff has the Broncos taking Da'Quan Bowers at #2.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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