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Following Fox's Lead

Posted Dec 5, 2011

Head Coach John Fox's coaching style has made a positive impression on the surging Broncos in his first year with the franchise.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It's often said that the NFL is a copycat league.

That teams look to replicate successful schemes they play against or see on tape.

But when it comes to interacting with players and pushing the right buttons as a head coach, John Fox doesn't look around for inspiration.

"I'm just myself," Fox said. "As I've said before, most of us aren't smart enough to be anybody else."

"I've been kind of the same, whether it's a DB coach, a coordinator or a head coach."

That consistency hasn't gone unnoticed in the Broncos locker room.

"From the guy that doesn't play and is inactive on Sunday to the guys that have the most plays on Sunday, Coach Fox talks to him the same way," linebacker Mario Haggan said. "He comes in and interacts with each player, and when you get that from a guy, you love to see a person with that type of stature -- your boss -- coming in and talking to you and making you feel at home. Anytime he asks you to do something, you want to do that for your boss."

Fox enjoys interacting with his players. He wants to build relationships and trust with each and every member of his team.

And even in the pressure-packed world of professional football, Fox doesn't take himself too seriously. He's not afraid to laugh a little and lighten the mood. 

"He's in the locker room. He's hanging out. In meetings, he's shooting the bull with the guys, and that's just how he is," punter Britton Colquitt said. "He's a players' coach, like they say. The first time I met him, I felt like I'd known him for 20 years, and that's just how he is with everybody… He's awesome. He's quick-witted, and everything he says is just what it needs to be."

"He keeps the atmosphere relaxed," Haggan added. "He trusts players."

In the relaxed environment Fox has created, the Broncos are 7-5 and currently the AFC West leaders.

Fox has said all along that his job as a coach is to put his players in the best position to succeed. Throughout the season he's shown that he'll make whatever changes he feels are necessary to achieve that objective.

The results speak for themselves.

"He does a great job of just adjusting thing to the personnel that he has," Haggan said. "You have to take your hat off to him. He's come in and changed around the 3-4 to a 4-3, some type of spread offense, different quarterback, different personnel, and somehow he's made it blend and got guys to go to work for him every day."

In his first year leading the franchise, Fox has helped turn a 4-12 squad a year ago into a team fighting for a spot in the playoffs.

"Look what he's done with our program," Colquitt said. "Supposedly, we had nothing to offer as far as positions and talent, and look what he's done with that.

"I think he's definitely the Coach of the Year. We're in a great position now, and I think we're going to keep getting better."