ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – John Fox misses some of the people he met in Colorado and the players who were with the Denver Broncos during his four-year run as the team’s coach.
But he was decidedly in just-another-game mode in a conference call with Denver-area media Wednesday. Fox’s team won 46 regular-season games, four AFC West titles and the playoff trips to go with them, including a Super Bowl trip to close out the 2013 season, but was replaced following last January’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
“I’ve been through that once already. It was a good run, no doubt, got some great memories, some not so good on the other side of it," Fox said. “But all in all had an opportunity to come be a Chicago Bear at this stage I’m very happy with where I’m at and what I’m doing now."
Fox and the Broncos characterized it as a “mutual parting of ways" the day after the divisional round loss to the Colts. Sunday in Soldier Field will be the first game Fox has coached against the Broncos since his departure, but Fox was quick to point out that if you’re in the NFL long enough, such games are not uncommon.
“As I mentioned to our media here, this is my eighth team, third as a head coach. There’s not too many games where you’re not playing against your old team," Fox said. “So, it counts the same, obviously we’re playing a very good opponent at 7-2, been a playoff team for the last four years, we know the challenge is great.
Fox will also get a look at Brock Osweiler running the Broncos’ offense. Osweiler, who was the Broncos’ second-round pick in the 2012 draft, the same year the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, will make his first regular-season start against the Bears.
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has moved Osweiler into the lineup in an effort to allow Manning to recover from injuries to his right shoulder, left foot and ribs.
Fox said he expects Osweiler to run an offense that will include the things Kubiak’s offenses have shown for years, including more plays with Osweiler under center more than Manning would have been, more rollouts and more throws on the move.
“[Osweiler] is a smart guy; he’s not afraid to work," Fox said. “And from a preparation standpoint, he’s learned, probably, from one of the better guys to play the game at the position."