Three consecutive AFC West titles, back-to-back 13-3 finishes and a Super Bowl are certainly cause for pause in a business where getting any of that done is difficult at best.
But the Denver Broncos didn’t re-up head coach John Fox because that was enough. The team slid another contract in front of Fox because they think there’s more to be done and that he understands that.
“We’ve got work to do,’’ Fox said.
Or as executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway put it; “We like the direction, we like where were are compared to where we were, but we’re here to compete for world championships, this year, next year, every year. People keep telling me we’re acting like we want to win now. I want to win now, but I want to win every year and we’re going to try to make decisions that are the best for the Denver Broncos to make sure we can.’’
When the Broncos and Fox/Fox's agent Bob LaMonte finished the negotiations for Fox’s deal -- which now runs through the 2016 season and puts him in the $5 million a year club -- the message got through. Both sides had a chance to give and take in the give and take.
The message that, despite how folks outside the Broncos’ Dove Valley complex feel, this it isn’t just about this year. The good the Broncos have done since the 4-12 finish in 2010 is, well, good, but not everything they want for owner Pat Bowlen.
“I couldn’t be happier being part of this organization,’’ Fox said this weekend. “We’ve made some strides, but we’re not a finished product by any means. And we talked about winning championships, we’ve won three AFC West championships, one AFC (title), but now the goal, and always has been, bringing a Super Bowl championship back to Denver.’’
So, in the end the Broncos wanted Fox to hear the message that three consecutive division titles is a quality run, but the team’s decision-makers would still like a little more. Especially since the Broncos have let two opportunities to put another Super Bowl trophy in Bowlen’s lobby slip away in the last two seasons.
The kind of opportunities many teams haven’t even seen once, let alone have repeated in a 12-month span.
Fox understands where the Broncos are coming from and conveyed that in his discussions with Elway after the 35-point loss in Super Bowl XLVIII. After all, Fox would like to put a Super Bowl ring on his own finger as well.
And Fox, having lived through a miserable season in his final year in Carolina when he was also in the last year of his deal, wanted a little more stability in his pocket when dealing with the players in his locker room, the meeting rooms and on the practice field. He also got a nice raise and will get a bonus if the Broncos do win a Super Bowl on his watch.
“We’re ready to get to work and happy it worked out, and it worked out for both sides,’’ Fox said. “ … We’ve got things to do now and over the long haul.’’