Broncos V.P. of football operations and G.M. John Elway addressed the “mutual parting” with coach John Fox at a press conference on Tuesday. Before that, FOX’s Jay Glazer joined PFT Live to discuss the events that led to the divorce.
“This has actually been a long time coming,” Glazer said. “We kind of knew, I figured that, all the way back to last year’s even Senior Bowl, [Scouting] Combine, this year’s situation where this is going to be one and done unless, they won a Super Bowl, I think John Elway, just everything that, you know, the talent that he was going to bring in there he wasn’t going to accept anything less. I think it was just kind of like, almost like a marriage gone bad. They were irreconcilable differences, that’s what it was.”
So how much of it is on Fox?
“It’s really hard not to get along with John Fox,” Glazer said. “It really is. And, you know, it’s no secret that Fox and I are real good friends, I told him yesterday, ‘Hey, you may be a complete knucklehead, but you’re definitely not hard to get along with.’ It just became a situation where it wasn’t just with Fox, it was John Elway with the entire staff.”
How did it happen?
“It wasn’t a hatred, it wasn’t like that,” Glazer said. “It wasn’t, I don’t know, just somewhere along the line those two guys, they were close and now all of a sudden they weren’t and I don’t really . . . it didn’t happen this year, it happened long ago and sometimes change is just good for both parts and that’s what I’m saying. . . . It’s not like this just happened this week. It’s been just a long time, you know, there some things and I think once you start going down that road, it just kind of snowballs more and more and more. And every little thing will bother you about the other person, you know what I mean, when you have a situation when it’s irreconcilable differences.”
Almost as surprising as the longstanding existence of “irreconcilable differences” was the ability of Elway and Fox to keep the issues under wraps. How did they do it?
“Because it wasn’t like a hatred,” Glazer said. “It wasn’t like, look, you didn’t have a thing like [former 49ers coach] Jim Harbaugh, who is so hard to get along with, and [49ers G.M.] Trent Baalke, they’re a clash of personalities. John Elway is a very likeable guy and he’s easy to get along with. John Fox is a very likeable guy and he’s very easy to get along with. Those two guys just together it just became a bad match. . . .
“Neither one of these guys also really — they’re not politicians, you know what I mean? It comes out a lot when guys are politicians and they want the world to know what’s going on. They’re not. It just started to just see things differently. I mean that’s really the best way to say this and it seems like there’s so much more, it’s just not, they started to see things differently.”
Unlike Harbaugh, whom Glazer had reported would be out in San Francisco even if the 49ers won the Super Bowl, the irreconcilable differences between Elway and Fox would have been reconciled via a Super Bowl win.
“They loaded up, it was kind of all or nothing,” Glazer said. “It was almost same thing with [former Falcons coach] Mike Smith this year. We knew going into the year that he had to do an awful lot to compete in the playoffs or just time to move on. Sometimes, Mike, in this league, people want a clear cut answer but it really gets to the point where you know what sometimes it’s time to move on. You know, sometimes you hang out with, you’ve got friends in life and you hang out with someone and you’re going out all the time and all of a sudden it just kind of runs its course and you start hanging out with another friend.”
Now, Elway will begin looking for another friend. A friend who will also be friendly with Peyton Manning. A friend who will be comfortable with the ridiculously high standards that saw a coach who won four straight division titles sent packing.