Monday, November 4, 2013

Elway, Del Rio Emphasize Stepping Up, Little Change

Broncos Plan to Build on Fox's Blueprint and Know There is Work, Growth to do

Englewood, CO: Broncos Interim Head Coach, Jack Del Rio spoke to the media Monday after the +Denver Broncos Head Coach, John Fox, went to a Charlotte hospital after experiencing light headedness and dizziness while golfing during their bye week. Just announced as the Head Coach, as the most likely choice was Del Rio this morning. It is as a result from Coach Fox having today, a "prolonged" aortic valve procedure came early as Fox planned on having the heart procedure after the season. Broncos are 7-1 and coming off of their bye week with a visit to the +San Diego Chargers coming up this Sunday. Speculation as to who would be handed the 'keys to the Ferrari', which includes the record setting offense, Peyton Manning, very stout, and talented Broncos team. Broncos are about to set sail on what could end up the most important stretch of games they have had this season, @SD, vsKC, @NE, @KC (3 of 4 on road as well as overall record of 20-6 of the 3 teams). Fox went to the hospital Saturday and two day of speculation ended this morning with the announcement from Exec. Vice President, John Elway, that Del Rio is stepping in as Interim Head Coach for the Broncos. 

The Broncos held their scheduled press conference today with Elway and Del Rio answering questions regarding the sudden change, that everyone is pulling for Fox and will stay in tune with him and the doctors regarding his progress personally and as well as aspects of the team. Del Rio stepping in for Fox until Fox is able to return, summed up the new responsibility that he has as well as others within the organization. Del Rio said that they need to, "Be good at communicating. Being organized, and guys knowing what is expected of them and those are things Coach Fox has done a great job of and I will just continue that." Del Rio knows that they have a good thing going and to keep things synced up is to build on it as they would normally. From week prep, practice, having a lot of the same philosophies as Coach Fox, and build on to what has already been established. They have a good thing going, the Broncos should hope to continue to work with as little of a change as possible. Remain focused with "... all eyes on the field." Del Rio suggested. The overall impression from the presser was minimal change and stepping up as a franchise, coaching staff, captains, and players are as little of a change as they can make. Top to bottom, stepping up as a whole. 

John Fox (right) and Jack Del Rio (left of Fox) having a laugh
at "Meet the Coaches" last May

Photo Rights: (AP)
Del Rio will remain the defensive play caller on game days. A unit that ranked #5 in the NFL last year had struggled in the first 6 games of the year, especially defending the pass. They have started to show some improvement, improving steadily over their last two games. Coincidentally when Von Miller returned from suspension. Del Rio emphasized, "We're just going to come in here and work at the process day in and day out." He did say that as a Head Coach he will be involved in the offense and obviously inside the QB's head and perspective as an adjustment that he will be making obviously overseeing the entirety of the team. Del Rio feels confident in the staff, captains, and leaders to be able to come together, not remaining, but continuing to grow as a unit that has had an excellent season thus far.

Del Rio spent several seasons with Coach Fox at Carolina before rejoining him last year as the Defensive Coordinator in Denver. Regarding the responsibilities and what is needed from team captains, such as Wesley Woodyard , "Everybody talked about that today, even the young guys, we need everybody to be at their best and that is what being a football team is all about. Each guy doing his part, each guy growing throughout course of the year. As a football team, you want make steady improvement throughout the course of the year." 

Del Rio, having done the head coaching thing before with the +Jacksonville Jaguars, making two playoff appearances and having seen what the Jaguars have accomplished since he left makes his tenure their all that more impressive when he was the Head Coach. Del Rio emphasized, "There is a lot of growth in front of us that we feel we can accomplish. We don't really need anybody to do more than they're capable of, just do their job to the best of their ability and that's what we're asking."

Business as usual, but business from a championship caliber team is not as usual for most. Fortunately, by the work of the franchise and a testament to the job they have done assembling a really good coaching staff, they are able to lean on such a reliable guy, leader, and coach as Del Rio.

Note: There was no timetable put on the time expected for Fox to be out and return stated. To no surprise as the operation was performed only today, and the doctors monitoring and Broncos organization ensuring it is done at the absolute right time. Expect no official statement regarding this probably closer to a week or less than when he does. This part is just of my own thoughts and opinion.