John Fox looks to turn around the struggling Denver Broncos, their third coach in little more than two years.
Fox beat out Houston offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and three other candidates to replace Josh McDaniels, who was fired Dec. 6 amid the Broncos’ worst slide in four decades and the embarrassing Spygate II videotaping scandal.
McDaniels was on the job less than two years after replacing Mike Shanahan in January 2009.
The lost season led to a restructuring of the front office and the return of Hall of Famer John Elway as chief football executive. His first big decision was offering the former Carolina Panthers coach a four-year contract.
”The thing that got me was his wisdom and his energy,” Elway said. ”This place has been deflated for a year and maybe even two years.”
Fox went 78-74, including playoffs, in nine seasons with the Panthers. The team didn’t renew his contract following an NFL-worst 2-14 record in 2010.
Many Broncos fans tired of five straight seasons without a playoff berth are expecting a quick fix much like the one Fox engineered in Carolina, when he took the Panthers to the Super Bowl two years after inheriting a 1-15 team.
And Fox didn’t say anything to dampen those enthusiastic expectations.
”I’m here to try to add another ring and trophy to that foyer,” he said.
Eric Studesville, Dirk Koetter and Perry Fewell also interviewed for the job, and many considered Dennison the front-runner given his 24 years in the organization as a linebacker, special teams stalwart and assistant coach.
Team president Joe Ellis said Fox’s credentials put him over the top.
”Just his depth of experience, knowledge, contacts, scheme,” he said. ”Put it all together, it’s the complete package.”