Did John Fox know exactly what he was signing up for when he decided to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos? Josh McDaniels was fired on December 6th of last year in the wake of the Broncos worst slide in four decades and the Spygate II videotaping scandal. McDaniels was also behind the decision to trade a second (No. 43), third (No. 70) and fourth (No. 114) round pick to the Baltimore Ravens to move up and select Tim Tebow. The move has caused nothing, but a headache for the Broncos front office. John Fox is trying to turn around an organization that is in rebuilding mode, yet he has not wavered really since being hired about starting Kyle Orton.
The outcry in the Mile High City is to let No.15 play already considering the team is looking at another mediocre season after the team’s 1-3 start. Now, there still is a ton of football left to play, but it is going to take a major improvement out of Tim Tebow in order to get a start under center. John Fox joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Scott and BR to discuss how much of an effect he feels the lockout had on the Broncos starting the season out 1-3 as they acclimate to him as the new head coach, how one quarter of a season is not enough time for him to evaluate Kyle Orton or any of the other Broncos players that all must improve as the season progresses, the challenges Tim Tebow faces in the NFL compared to the relatively easy time he had succeeding at the collegiate level, the one area Tim Tebow must improve on most in order to be a good NFL quarterback, and dealing with Broncos fans putting up billboards saying they want Tebow to start.
How much did the lockout play into the Broncos being 1-3 right now?
“First of all you gotta look at our 1-3 record and we lost two games by three points. We won a game by two points and then last week on the road in ideal conditions played a very good Packers team along with Aaron Rodgers, so we even had bright spots in that game fighting back at 21-17 and we just had a tough time keeping up with them offensively. I think it is what it is. It’s 1-3. I think we’re improving in some areas and we need to continue especially in the turnover ratio.”
Clearly you think there is still a lot for Kyle Orton to learn to be the Denver Broncos quarterback under this system?
“We’re one quarter into the season. I think if you have looked at NFL seasons over the past sometimes it is not where you start the race. It is where you finish. The teams that get better every week can get better in every quarter. It’s a four quarter season and not a one quarter season. I think we are four games into it and really we have been together as a staff for two months and with this group of players regardless of just the quarterback there’s 52 other guys that are involved in this team and it’s not around just one guy.”
What’s the difference between a guy like Tim Tebow at Florida versus a guy like Tim Tebow in an NFL game?
“Again sometimes it is a level jump. There’s no doubt. It’s not the same as college. It is a different game. You gotta come in and learn a new system. You gotta learn different coverages. It’s just a different game and it takes a minute for any rookie, in particular at quarterback, which may be the hardest position in sports to know and learn and plus a level jump, so there’s no doubt in my mind that Tim Tebow will be a good quarterback in this league. I think with no offseason that hurts some growth. It’s just a lot to put on a young player.”
What is the number one thing that you would say that Tim Tebow has to raise in his play? What is the one area he has to improve in order to be a good NFL quarterback?
“I think just overall. Just playing under center versus in the shotgun is an adjustment. Your footwork. Your timing. Your drops. Just the reads, the defenses and the different coverages you get in this league versus at the college level, so it’s like anything else. The more you do it the better you get and he’s continuing to improve and will continue to do so.”
What is it like in the locker room with the fans putting up billboards saying they want Tim Tebow to play? Have you guys tried to insulate yourself from the wannabe controversy?
“It’s very typical. It’s not any new news. We’ve got great fans here in Denver and they’ve got great passion for the Denver Broncos. At the end of the day they want to win and we went through a 4-12 season a year ago. We’re 1-3 this year and they just want to win. We want that in this building. John Elway has come in here and I know Mr.[Pat] Bowlen wants to win. At the end of the day I get it. It’s understandable and the facts are we’re 1-3 and we gotta get better.”