John Fox would still be the head coach of the Denver Broncos if the team won the Super Bowl. While John Elway was hesitant to speak in hypotheticals, he firmly stated that a change would not have been made had the team accomplished Elway's "Plan A" of bringing a third Lombardi Trophy to Denver.
The two Johns met on the Monday after the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs and agreed that they didn't agree on how to move forward. Fox felt he had several other opportunities he could explore, while Elway was concerned about how the team was going to take the next step. Elway confirmed that he and Fox had bumped heads from time to time (something Jay Glazer of Fox previously reported), but expressed that they had a strong personal relationship. With that, the two sides amicably -- and mutually -- decided that it was time to move on.
Elway and Fox
While Elway feels the Broncos couldn't move forward with Fox, he does view quarterback Peyton Manning as a key piece in taking the next step. Elway also spoke with Manning on Monday and had what he described as a "great conversation" with the soon-to-be 39-year-old quarterback. The conversation did not involve Manning's future, because Elway wants him to take some time to figure out what he wants. Elway expressed that the Broncos want Manning back next season and said he plans to meet with the quarterback in four-to-five weeks to discuss what his decision will be for next season.
It will come down to what Manning wants to do.
This is also the case with the team's search for Fox's replacement, as Manning is expected to play a role in the hiring process. There is no timetable for when the Broncos will have a new coach and the team has not reached out to any prospective candidates. Elway understands that potential candidates will want to know about Manning's involvement next season, but admits that he won't be able to give them an answer until Manning decides.
Elway also clarified that the Broncos have not released their entire coaching staff. Assistant coaches are still under contract with the team, but have been given permission to explore other options around the league. This includes defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who have both been identified as head coaching candidates with other teams. Gase is reportedly a person of interest for multiple clubs, while Del Rio has been identified as a favorite for the Oakland Raiders' vacancy at head coach.
Elway stated that both Del Rio and Gase are considered candidates for the opening in Denver, as well.