ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On the eve of the Broncos' mandatory full-team minicamp, Head Coach John Fox fielded questions about the 2013 season from season ticket holders during a 45 minute, fan forum conference call on Monday afternoon.
With thousands of Broncos fans listening on the line and a handful of enthusiastic callers posing questions, Fox chatted and commented on everything from the depth of his team, to what his coaching staff will do in the time between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp, to the benefits that newcomers like Wes Welker, Shaun Phillips, Montee Ball, and others will bring to the Broncos.
These are some of the highlights from the fan forum:
Coach Fox fielded questions on a variety of topics and positions and in his very first answer he addressed Ryan Clady missing the team's OTAs.
"On Ryan Clady, as I tell everybody, these offseason workouts are voluntary and there really is no recourse. Ryan is a sharp player, a very big part of our offense. He's basically a cornerstone at the left tackle position. He's also rehabbing an offseason surgery so he technically or physically would not be able to participate in the practices anyway. So he's taking care of business that way and he's a guy that I know wants to be a Bronco and the Broncos want Ryan Clady and that's something that will eventually get worked out."
Fox was later asked about coaching against coaches with ties to the Broncos around the AFC West.
"I think you always deal with that. Number one, just because they're division opponents and you play them twice. I think what you're making reference to is the fact that Dennis Allen, two years ago, and Mike McCoy, this last year, got head coaching jobs at those respective teams. And although it'd be highly unusual if that that happens, not just in two years back to back, that's unusual, but to go into the same division, that's very unusual. But I would say, in answer to your question that the familiarity works both ways. We're going to be as familiar with those guys as they are with us and we'll just see how it works out. It's a great opportunity for both of them and it's great for them and their families but when they play us it's not going to be that friendly."
The team's depth chart will continue to take shape through competition in training camp leading up to the season. Fox was asked about the defensive backfield and the depth the Broncos have there and he responded by going through several of the teams viable options.
"We return Rahim Moore, Mike Adams who were our starters a year ago. Quinton Carter who started for us two years ago, he's returning coming off a micro-fracture knee surgery. We did add Quentin Jammer, who we already know can play corner, we're trying to convert to safety. Another corner (is) our rookie draft pick Kayvon Webster who's had a nice camp. Again, we're going to see multiple tight ends, multiple receivers, we play New England again, who has all those tight ends. So I think we've got better matchups this year than we did a year ago. The guy who's been doing really well too is David Bruton who we kept in free agency. He was a free agent this year, had an opportunity to go other places and John Elway and his staff did a good job of getting him resigned. "
He also talked about positions not on the field, like having Adam Gase as his new offensive coordinator.
"I think he's one of the sharp, up-and-coming coaches in the NFL. That's why we were able to elevate him after (former Offensive Coordinator) Mike McCoy left. The last two seasons, whether it was Tim Tebow two seasons ago or even Peyton Manning last year, I think Adam deserves a lot of credit for how well those quarterbacks did in their own respective type of play. He's a sharp mind, he's spent a lot of time with (former Rams Head Coach) Mike Martz, and Mike had a great career there in St. Louis when they had the Greatest Show on Turf. They have a wide-open mindset, very aggressive mindset, and I think Adam's done terrific things thus far. You'll see those in the 2013 season."
Gase will have at his disposal this season new Bronco Wes Welker, an addition that has both sides of the ball excited.
"I'm not so sure who was more happy, our offensive coaches or our defensive coaches. Our offensive coaches have a new toy and our defensive coaches don't have to cover him anymore. He's a great matchup inside as a slot receiver. I think it'll open or he'll be open. He'll open up opportunities for Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. It'll be hard for people to cover all three of those with just a single man (on each)."
Welker is just a part of an unselfish receiving corps, a characteristic that isn't always visible in that position.
"Typically in the NFL, that position has a little bit of that attitude. Our guys are tremendous. I go back to two years ago when I think we played somebody and won and threw five passes. Those guys are selfless, not selfish. Obviously Wes, Demaryius and Eric have had very productive seasons in the NFL. We've got a little phrase we use around here. We're looking for Super Bowlers, not Pro Bowlers, so they're not as concerned with their numbers and their touches as they are just winning games. I think that's a pretty formidable threesome and it might float around who gets those touches based on how defenses attack us. I don't anticipate that being a problem."
After minicamp, the players as well as the coaches will have some time off before reporting back to training camp. That's the time, Fox said, coaches get to spend time with their families.
"It's a little bit like when we let our players go (on a break). We've trained real hard, same as the coaches, same as the players. This whole offseason preparing is a little bit like a marathon. I think right before the marathon, most people take a little time off before they run the race, so there's guys doing a variety of different things. Everyone's trying to stay on it, keep football as part of their thinking. We've got a couple little projects as coaches that we do. All-in-all, just kind of enjoy their families, get a last little taste of what it is to be with your family and then we embark on six months, seven days a week for the 2013."