The breaking news from Sports Authority Field at Mile High this evening is a headline few fans saw coming: Denver Broncos fire head coach John Fox. While much of the speculation about Denver’s future revolved around Peyton Manning’s future, Fox’s future seemed relatively stable.
While Manning had reportedly played with a torn right quadriceps muscle that contributed to his poor play down the stretch, Fox had fully recovered from his 2013 surgery to win the heart of Broncos players. Apparently the same didn’t hold true for John Elway and the Broncos brass.
Elway and the Broncos released a statement Monday afternoon that said “John Fox and I met for more than an hour on Monday afternoon to discuss the 2014 season and our goals for the future. During our open and candid conversation, it became clear that it was best for both the Denver Broncos and Coach Fox to move on and make this change.”
According to both ESPN and the Broncos website, the parting of ways was by mutual agreement.
“While we have made significant progress under Coach Fox, there is still work to be done. I believe this change at the head coaching position will be in the best interest of our long-term goal, which from day one has been to win World Championships,” said Elway.
Meanwhile, former Broncos coach Fox said “I had a productive visit with John Elway this afternoon in which we were both very honest about our time together and how to best move forward. After this discussion, John and I mutually agreed that the timing was right for this decision. I am eager to continue my coaching career and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Fox will certainly have his share of opportunities.
Although the new Buffalo Bills head coach was announced today as Rex Ryan, there are still several high-profile coaching opportunities still available. If he so desires, Fox may also be able to investigate the college football coaching world, though those positions are likely to pay far less. By most accounts they’re lower stress, though, which could be a factor if Fox has any long-term concerns about his heart.
Fox had a good record in his four years as Broncos head coach, though his playoff record was disappointing and likely his undoing.
On Sunday, the Broncos lost to the Colts in their second one-and-done playoff loss of Fox’s tenure in the Mile High City. Though some of Sunday’s 23-14 home loss to the Colts will fall on Peyton Manning’s performance, Fox obviously shouldered some of the blame for allowing his team to come out flat after the bye week.
Fox leaves his Denver Broncos position having coached the team to four straight division titles, a 46-18 regular-season record, and a 49-22 overall record.