ORLANDO, Fla. --Head Coach John Fox met the press for nearly one hour during the NFL Coaches Breakfast earlier this week at the league meetings. During that time he covered a number of topics ranging from the team's free-agency approach, his improved health after midseason heart surgery, locker-room culture in the NFL and much more.
See below for some quick hits from that session:
On Brock Osweiler"I'm pleased, really pleased with Brock. We've had him the same amount of time. He made great progress from year one to year two. He has a good head on his shoulders. He is a very competitive guy. He works hard. He has the tools to do it. He just hasn't had a lot of opportunity. We feel confident that he is on target and improving."
On Montee Ball's growth
"He's a tremendous young player. He improved a lot—we needed him to a year ago. I thought he turned into a pro. He understands how to prepare. Sometimes that may take a while. I didn't take him as long. We're looking for him to make good leaps."
On committing to run the ball to be successful"It's a lot of stuff. If it was that easy, I guess anybody could do it. Bottom line is the bottom line – how successful it is. Sometimes it's people, it could be commitment, it could be a lot of things, but we are in a results-oriented business. If you're averaging two yards a carry, it is not really high on your playcall list. We just have to get better at it. Like I said, sometimes it's people, sometimes it's coaching, like everything in this job in this league. You research it, you look at other ways to do things, you look at
who is doing it. It is an area we need to improve to balance up our attack. And not just playcalls, I'm talking about efficiency."
On what advice he has for first-year head coaches
"The first thing I would say is be yourself. Most of us aren't smart enough to be anybody else. You kind of are what you eat, so you are what you've been around. You've already kind of formulated what you're going to be as a head coach—or what you are as a coach, period. Just be yourself. All of these guys know how to work hard—it's not like there is anything you have to earn with that. You don't get to spend much time with football. You're managing people. I didn't want to be a head coach for a long time because of that. Then I kind of decided that's something I want to try and I actually enjoy it—the managing of people. Whether it's the coaching staff—hiring a staff is one of the most important things to begin with. You have your own leadership style but 'Be yourself' is one of the first thing I would tell guys."
On if there was a difference in losing a close Super Bowl (XXXVIII with Carolina) and this year's Super Bowl
"Not really. The yellow rope still comes up and gives you rope burn. You don't get to stick around for the confetti. You don't get to hoist the trophy. That doesn't matter if it's one point or 100 points. That's just the reality of not doing it. But it's fun going there. It's a good week. Like I said, there is only one happy team at the end of all of this and everybody else loses their last game."
On whether he's concerned about the offensive line after losing Zane Beadles to free agency
"I'm concerned with all of it. That's my job. We've got some options. We've got Ryan Clady back. That makes us better instantly. I know we lost Zane and we wish him nothing but the best. We may move somebody. You have young guys that have shown promise. There is Ben Garland—whoever—that have been with us but haven't played a lot. We could move a guy in at left guard and put Chris Clark at right tackle. There are a bunch of options and they will define how we go. The coaches will put together a plan. You have to be flexible when you can only suit up seven (offensive linemen) per game at five positions. We'll work a million combinations. It took me a whole season for you guys to believe that Manny Ramirez was our center (laughing)."
On what he would do differently in the Super Bowl if he can get back this year
"Probably everything (laughing). Right now I would like to get there. If you don't win that last game it gnaws on you. It really kind of never goes away. It's like a scar. You learn from it, you move on and you do everything you can to get better."