ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Broncos players returned from their bye-week break to the news of Head Coach John Fox's medical condition. See below to see what they had to say about their head coach:
Safety David Bruton
On hearing the news about Head Coach John Fox"The word 'worry' comes to mind. Definitely was worried, started praying for him. That's our leader, our go-to man, the head guy. It's unfortunate that he has to go through that, but the team's pulling for him, we're praying for him, and we're playing for him – just having something bigger to play for other than ourselves. We know that he would want us to continue going about work the way we've been going about it the first eight weeks."
On wanting to win one for Coach Fox"No we're not going to approach it like that. We're going to win many. Not just one, just keep going, keep going – playing for him, playing for the guys next to us – what we've done all year and that's playing for each other. That's the way coach would like it."
On Jack Del Rio being named interim head coach/defensive coordinator"All the coaches are very capable and Jack, with the most experience, we shouldn't miss a beat at all. He's been here for a couple years. He knows how things are run here, under Coach Fox and under his tutelage and we're just going to keep going about work the right way. Every coach knows they have to pick up and us as leaders and as players we have to pick up as well."
Cornerback Chris Harris Jr.
On Head Coach John Fox"We're just keeping Coach in our prayers. We know he'll be fine and bounce back."
On Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio"I mean, you don't ever wish things like this to happen, but for a team – we have a lot of leaders on this team, offensively and defensively. Guys can pick up the slack and be able to pick up the intensity. It's a good thing that we have Jack, who's been a head coach before, has those same leadership qualities."
On what Del Rio told players during the meeting this morning"We're just going to stay the course. We just need everybody to help support him, everybody to step their game up another notch. We need all the leaders to really just help him along until Coach gets back."
Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton
On having any doubts that Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio can handle the team"Not at all. He's been successful in this league. His last few years in Jacksonville didn't go well, but he's been successful. He's still the defensive coordinator with an extended role. He'll oversee things a little bit on the offense, but he'll still be hands-on with the defense."
On his reaction to hearing about Fox's situation"I texted a few guys on the team to see what was really going on, because sometimes you can't really go by the he-say, she-say. I just wish him the best and we'll definitely go out there with a little extra motivation to play hard for him. But first and foremost, his health is important and his life. I'm just hoping that's all handled."
On whether the team can rally around Fox"I mean, his health is first and foremost important – and then football. Like I said, we just want to do our thing on the field so when he's watching on Sunday, it makes his process a little bit easier. We don't want to go out there and look bad, have him stressing while he's in the stage (where) he doesn't need to be stressing. So it'll definitely be extra motivation."
Safety Rahim Moore
On whether he expects any differences with Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio"Yeah, it's going to be a different chance as far as we're going to play better each and every week. That's the only change we can make. We were going to do that with Coach Fox here, no matter what. We all understand what's at task, but at the end of the day, it's still football. We've got to go out there and play, do all that we can to make him look good and make him happy."
On what his reaction was when he heard about Fox's situation"You know what – I think I was eating breakfast or something. Brunch. And I saw at the bottom of the screen. I'm like, 'What's going on?' And then (former Broncos wide receiver) Rod Smith texted me and he kind of gave me the heads up. So immediately I just went into praying and praying for my coach because he's special to me. He's the one who really peeped my talent out. He's made my dream come true. This means a lot to me. So I'm just praying for him. I put it in God's hands and he's going to be fine."
On whether Fox's style of empowering the players is helpful given his absence"Absolutely. When you think about it, it's a player's game. The players play. Coach Fox is an unbelievable coach, but he can't play D-line for us. He can't be the quarterback. He can't be a safety or a corner. So it's amongst us, as men, to go out there and do our job each and every week. He doesn't play for us. It's only 11 guys on the field and he's not one of them. He's out there to get us in the right position, to encourage us, to make us better football players. But we know what to do. We understand the system, we understand his mindset and we understand the empowerment that he has over us."
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas
On what the team could miss with Fox away"He made a lot of decisions when it came down to crunch time. I think there will be some things, but like I said, we have coach Del Rio and on our side of the ball we have Demaryius Thomas and then of course Del Rio for defense. I don't know what we will miss but I know we will miss him. I really can't say."