John Fox skirts questions on QBs
DENVER -- Broncos coach John Fox spoke with candor and clarity on all things except his quarterback situation in a conference call with season ticket holders.
Fielding a stream of questions on an array of topics Monday, Fox was asked more than once about his plans for Tim Tebow & Co., with the new coach divulging little more insight than, "I feel good about our depth at quarterback."
I have great respect for all of them. I see the excitement and enthusiasm in Tim [Tebow]. ... I think we have a competitive situation at quarterback.” -- Broncos coach John Fox on team's QBs
The teleconference with around 6,500 ticket holders was all part of the Broncos' plan to engage its fan base after a franchise-worst 4-12 season that led to the firing of Josh McDaniels.
John Elway, the Broncos' chief of football operations, and general manager Brian Xanders participated in an earlier call, while commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to chat soon.
And while many of the season ticket holders on the call also cared about Fox's impressions of the draft, his thoughts on donning orange jerseys more often in the future and the team's plans for aging veteran Brian Dawkins, the status of Tebow remained a hot topic.
The former Heisman Trophy winner out of Florida is in the running for the starting job along with Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn. The Broncos list Orton atop the depth chart but say nothing is guaranteed.
One caller phrased his question something like this: Orton was limited, while Tebow brought more spice -- agree?
"I think they're all capable," Fox said. "No matter what the position, we try to create competition and may the best man win. As far as even fighting for starting jobs, guys are going to have to compete and do it consistently. That's the guy that's going to get the ball on Sunday.
"I have great respect for all of them. I see the excitement and enthusiasm in Tim. ... I think we have a competitive situation at quarterback."
Another fan asked if he'd ever consider trading Tebow.
"You're always looking to improve your football team. But that hasn't been a remote possibility at this point," Fox said.
The season ticket holders hardly gave Fox a free pass, grilling him with all sorts of intriguing questions. He was asked about the ragged state of the defensive line and the Broncos not selecting a run-stuffer in the draft.
Instead, the team used the picks on three linebackers, two safeties, two tight ends, and offensive lineman and a defensive end.
Fox told the listeners the team planned to address defensive line needs, along with possibly picking up another running back, in free agency once the NFL labor situation is ironed out.
Other topics Fox was quizzed about included:
• The status of receiver Demaryius Thomas, who tore his Achilles tendon in an offseason workout.
"He's right on target," Fox said. "We do need to get him on the field, hopefully sooner than later."
• The fans feeling the need to bolt for the exits when the Broncos were down in the fourth quarter because there was no way they were going to rally.
"First and foremost, we're going to try to not get behind in fourth quarter," Fox cracked.
• The timeline for the team to round back into contending form.
"I get asked that quite a bit. How many games are you going to win? How fast until you get better?" Fox said. "It's a process, don't like to predict it. We're trying to acquire the best talent we can. I think you'll see improvement."
• The drafting of two tight ends.
"It's a quarterback's best friend. Talk to John Elway, I'm sure he'll tell you Shannon Sharpe helped him a lot," he said.
"I tried to get them to give us Marcell and Von and they didn't go for that," Fox said, laughing.
And then more quarterback questions, just worded in different ways.
Near the end of the hour-long call, Fox was again queried about where the quarterback situation stood and if it was wide open.
"As I've mentioned before, these guys are all new to me," Fox said. "I know them from afar. I think as I get to know them and watch them practice, watch them compete, that's when you start ranking them one through three.
"At the end of the day, we'll decide one-two-three by the performance on the field."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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