Spoiler Alert: If you were expecting, anticipating, or hoping for an admission of game mismanagement, then stop reading. You’ll be sorely disappointed.
Not even 48 hours after one of the most discouraging playoff outcomes in Denver Broncos history, head coach John Fox and vice president John Elway addressed the media in the team’s end-of-season press conference.
The theme: No regrets – at least pertaining to how Fox managed the waning moments of regulation. Fox didn’t hesitate in saying he’d make the same decision all over again:
“It didn’t seem to be the right time to go for the jugular. I’d do that again 10 times out of 10 if faced with that situation.”
The “jugular” would have been Denver’s attempt to score in the last seconds of regulation. With 31 seconds and two timeouts remaining, Fox elected to have quarterback Peyton Manning take a knee and force overtime.
Denver, the AFC’s No. 1 seed, would end up losing to the Baltimore Ravens 38-35 in double overtime. The Ravens now travel to New England to play the Patriots for the right to represent the conference in next month’s Super Bowl.
Both Elway and Fox said the team was “in shock” after Baltimore’s game-tying 70-yard touchdown with under a minute remaining in the 4th quarter. Elway told reporters it was best for the team to “regroup” and head into overtime, adding:
“Mentally, it was a good move.”
A quick aside here, but “in shock” or not, we are talking about professional athletes; however, Elway and Fox know these players. I don’t, but I’m dissatisfied with their explanation. I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully accept it.
Fox also added Saturday’s regulation-ending situation in Denver was not like Sunday’s final moments in Atlanta. The Falcons, down by one with 31 seconds remaining and two timeouts, engineered a game-winning field goal drive in their divisional round game against the Seattle Seahawks.
The press conference’s other theme was looking ahead to next season. Elway and Fox are each optimistic the team will grow from this loss. Players will have extra motivation and return hungrier next season.
Another quick aside here, but Fox talked about the team “learning” from this loss. Yet he says he’d make the same game-ending decision all over again? What did he learn?
In case you missed it, view the full press conference – Part I and Part II.
- There are no plans right now to move cornerback Champ Bailey to safety.
- The Broncos plan on picking up Peyton Manning’s contact when the league year ends in February.
- Elway and Fox are pleased with Brock Osweiler’s development, and see him as the Broncos quarterback of the future.
Mike McCoy meets with San Diego Chargers
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports officials with the Chargers arrived in Denver earlier to pick up Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and take him to San Deigo for an interview.
San Diego fired head coach Norv Turner Dec. 31 and are still looking for his replacement. New general manager Tom Telesco is leading the search. San Diego has also interviewed former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
McCoy earlier interviewed with the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Eagles. FOX’s Jay Glazer reports the Cardinals want a second interview with McCoy Tuesday.
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