ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Just as Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway and General Manager Brian Xanders did before the draft, Head Coach John Fox sat down for a conference call with season ticket holders Monday as part of a series of fan forums.
More than 6,500 participants called in, and Fox answered dozens of questions that almost always began with a "Welcome to Denver."
Without further adieu, here are some of the head coach's answers that stood out:
On wearing orange jerseys:
"I think not so much this coming season but the 2012 season, I think you can put it in the bank you'll see a lot more of the orange jerseys. ... I'd like to think we're going to beat the Raiders whether we wear orange or not."
On not drafting a defensive lineman:
"It's not that we didn't try to acquire a defensive lineman in the draft, the way it went and the way it fell we just didn't want to reach for need. I think we had a lot of holes -- I wish we didn't have as many as we do -- but we were able to get guys we thought could compete for a roster spot, and that's what you try to do in the draft without reaching for needs. I think we stayed true to our board, which I think we were in a position to do that because we can fill the holes when free agency does kick in."
On adding defensive linemen through free agency:
"What I remind all the fans is there's really two pools of players that we have to improve our team each year. We just completed that one through the college ranks, the draft. We have not had free agency at this point. There will be one at some point -- I can't predict when. But at that point when we get into that market that will be an area that we address. It's an area that is filled with a lot of talented players."
On looking to add a running back:
"We did want to address the running back situation in the draft and weren't able to get that done. We knew going in we weren't going to be able to fill all our needs, but that's another area that we will look to in free agency. The things we didn't address are corner, obviously the D-line has been made a lot of...running back is an area where we need to acquire some depth, and we are going to run the ball more to balance our offense."
"You can't have enough of them. If you're going to run the ball and make it a priority to run the ball, you do need a few guys there that are active on game day. We're going to be doing everything we can to get better there."
On the linebacker depth chart:
"Right now it looks like D.J. (Williams) probably at Will, (Joe) Mays would be a Mike and
"I had the pleasure of spending some time, albeit short, on Friday with Brian. He's a guy that I've known. I coached him in the '05 Pro Bowl, we butted heads when I was with the Giants and he was with the Eagles for many years. So he's a young man I've had the pleasure of meeting already. I have great respect for him. I think he's a tremendous leader. He's a guy that I know I'll lean on this coming season as the head coach. The fact that we drafted two young safeties really has not that much to do with Brian other than him being a great mentor for two young players coming into the National Football League."
On the schedule:
"Going into my 10th season as a head coach, the thing I always looked at is I thought it was always important to open at home, which we get to do this year. I'd always prefer our bye to be in the middle, which we're a little off of that. But one thing that helps there is we do have a Sunday-Thursday stretch that can really be like a second bye on the back end. You're a little crammed up on the front end, but it creates a second bye, which comes at a good time to heal up your football team. ... At the end of the day, those are really the things I look for."
On Broncos fans:
"I'd like to thank all the fans. I can tell you from having been here before as a competitor, it's probably the best fans in the National Football League. Whether it was old Mile High or new INVESCO, you've got great passion."
On getting fans more involved on game days:
"As far as the Orange Crush, the salute, the fan presence, I think really at the end of the day if we perform like we're capable of performing, I think that gets fans motivated more than anything. My experience has been if you play well on the field, the fans get involved."
On improving quickly:
"When I was in Carolina, we went from 31st in defense to second in just one year. I think that can be done. I'm not making any predictions, I'd rather understate and over-perform, but it can be done. I have the utmost confidence in our staff and the players."
On what would make the 2011 season successful:
"Without putting numbers on it, I think our goal every year No. 1 is to win the Super Bowl. Before that, you have to get in the playoffs, so a realistic goal every year is to win your division and get in the playoffs. Then once you get into that tournament, anything can happen. I've been blessed to be through it, so has John (Elway) and so has Brian (Xanders). So all of us have been there and understand it takes players. We just had our first draft together -- I thought it went outstanding. Our goal will be to win the division and make the playoffs, because the second goal is to win that Super Bowl, and you can't do that unless you get in the playoffs. I think that's a realistic goal."