ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --For tight end Joel Dreessen, last weekend was especially tough.
First, he got word that Head Coach John Fox would undergo heart surgery. Then, at halftime of Sunday Night Football, his former coach, Gary Kubiak, collapsed and headed to the hospital.
"Unlike any feeling I've ever had," Dreessen said. "A feeling of deep concern for two men who were really, really (impactful) on my life. Obviously, Coach Fox is recovering from what we hear and he's doing a great job, feeling better. Coach Kubiak is feeling better, too, from what I hear. Encouraging news on both fronts."
It was a similar feeling for Assistant Secondary Coach Sam Garnes, who not only coaches under Fox but played for him as a member of the New York Giants. Garnes spent five seasons as a safety under Fox's tutelage as a defensive coordinator.
"Oh, devastation," he said of his reaction when he first heard the news. "Everybody here loves Fox. I've been around him most. I've probably spend the most time with him on-and-off the field. Just knowing him from – I think this is going on 17 years now that I've known him – you know that nobody wants to be out here more than he does. But the number one thing is his health. The thing is when you know someone and you know their family, you know they're going through it, too. I just want to see him get healthy."
But as Dreessen alluded, now that Fox is out of surgery, the news is positive and he's on the road to recovery. The tight end said he's been in touch with Fox and Kubiak via text message, and both coaches responded, "Feeling better."
Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said Tuesday that he hadn't spoken to Fox since the surgery. Wednesday morning, that changed.
"I got to speak with John this morning for about 20 minutes on the phone," he said. "He sounded great. He's looking forward to getting out of ICU. He's still in ICU, but his spirits are really good. He feels a little tired, obviously, as he's gone through quite a bit. His body has been put through quite a bit but he's in great spirits and he's healing."
Of course, Fox wanted to talk about more than just his health.
"We talked for a good bit and he obviously was wanting to talk about the team and how everybody's doing," Del Rio continued. "I assured him everybody's doing great and that we're going to work to make him proud.
"It was good to be able to talk to him and then be able to express that to the team."