John Fox didn’t want to go through a 2010 again.
Of course, things are a little different now for the Broncos coach, who avoided another lame-duck season with last week’s contract extension.
Fox told Mike Klis of the Denver Post that having gone through the same process with the Panthers prior to his final season there, he was bracing for the worst.
“That’s never easy,” Fox said. “I’ve done it before. I was prepared, but that’s not something you’d like to do. This is the ultimate good thing to happen. I think it’s a good deal all the way around.
“There’s a personal side to this, too. My wife and I love it here. Shoot, my boys don’t even live here and they love it here. We’ve got great fans. I love working for Pat Bowlen. John Elway is a great boss. It’s a great organization. All of that plays a part in it.
“Now, that’s all good and dandy but, shoot, we’ve still got work to do. We’ve made some progress but we haven’t reached our ultimate goal yet and that’s a world championship.”
Of course, he’s trying to win a championship with Peyton Manning under center, which is a little different than when he was staring down the barrel of Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen in 2010. That had more to do with the Panthers bottoming out (and getting their own franchise quarterback) than Fox’s contract situation. Still, it was an ugly divorce with plenty of collateral damage, both personal and professional.
But with his status taken care of in Denver and Manning back after a record-setting year, Fox also knows there’s a target that comes with it.
“Sure the expectations are high,” Fox said. “That comes with the territory. You understand the criticism. There’s three sets of hats. We’ve won the division hat every year for three. We’ve won one conference hat. Now we want to win the world championship hat. We haven’t done that yet. That’s our goal.”
Fox is a very good coach, and the new deal he got last week which goes through 2016 pays him as such. He’s won playoff games with far lesser quarterbacks than Manning, but he knows this is his best chance, with the Broncos going all-in for players such as DeMarcus Ware this offseason.