After the disappointing loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2012 AFC Divisional playoffs, the second-most blamed member of the Denver Broncos after safety Rahim Moore, was Fox, whose conservative play-calling down the stretch is believed to be a major cause of defeat among many fans.
While the good souls of Mile High Report and other Broncos fan communities, are not responsible for the firing, or hiring, of any team personnel — a major scapegoat for any Denver futility last season is reserve tailback Lance Ball — many have shared their two cents on Fox’s conservatism and the assessment is overwhelmingly negative.
Nevertheless, management seems to be in his camp, enraptured by his easy-going nature and ability to surround himself with adept assistants, which overshadows his average acumen for the game.
While Fox will never be a master of X’s and O’s in the vein of Don Shula, Tom Landry, or even Bill Belichick, he, in my opinion, is adept at galvanizing his players and getting maximum effort out of them.
In 11 seasons as a head coach with both the Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, he has won 53.4 percent of his games, and, in a stat belying his haters’ assessments, he has won at a 54.5 percent clip in the postseason.
It is also important to note that his signal-callers in some of these playoff games include Jake Delhomme and Tim Tebow. Furthermore, while Peyton Manning is 0-1 in playoff games as a Bronco, any statistician worth his or her salt can tell you that it is presumptuous to make judgments after one season.
In this vein of thought, I’m willing to give Fox another chance as overall as, among other things, he is adept at hiring solid assistants who know the intricacies of the game better than he does. Additionally, he is able to serve as an effective overseer in his role as head coach.
Now, if the Broncos have another successful season followed by another early postseason exit, I may have to reassess my stance. However, as for now, I have confidence that Bowlen and Elway know what they are doing and therefore, deserve the benefit of the doubt.
If there is one thing Broncos fans have learned over the past couple of seasons, it is that management makes the right call, which doesn’t always necessarily entail kowtowing to the desires of fans in all situations. As of yet, Fox’s job is not in jeopardy — which in all honesty, should bode well for the present state of the franchise.
I do take great pride in my abilities as a polyglot. Therefore, I often call Fox by his Spanish name, Coach Zorro, and, as all other Broncos fans, I hope he rides off propitiously into a Rocky Mountain sunset with a Lombardi trophy at his side.