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John Fox Conference Call Transcript
Q: What did you learn from the Patriots in the first matchup and what have you seen from them on tape since?
JF: Well, you know it's like every game is a little bit like a second go-around in the division you know, and the fact is that it's been within a month [since] we last played here in Denver. This go-around we're up in Foxborough. There is familiarity on both sides and you know, like all games, it's going to come down to who executes best on game day.
Q: Do you have any trepidation at all about Josh McDaniels being able to give away company secrets about Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas or anything like that?
JF: Not really. Every organization has a building full of pro scouts [and] scouting departments. Our write ups are fairly big on every player that's on both teams as it is. You know, it's really going to come down to Broncos and Patriots.
Q: Is this any different in your mind than a coach calling another coach for advice? Is it different for you that Josh McDaniels is in the film room instead of on the end of a phone line?
JF: Not really, I mean, we change players with teams all throughout the year, so I think it's a lot about nothing.
Q: Why has Demaryius Thomas been a completely different player since the start of December?
JF: Well, I think he had some injury issues a year ago and had some injuries through this season and he hasn't had a lot of opportunities. Like any young player, the more opportunities they get, typically they get better, so you know I think he's a young talented player that's getting better every time out.
Q: New England had great success, other than that Elvis Dumervil sack, neutralizing a very good pass rush for your team. What were they doing differently other than simply doing their jobs?
JF: I think they executed way better than we did. As I told you before, that's typically what happens and we're going to try our best to avoid that again.
Q: When you examine the first quarter of the last game you played, what were you doing so right with running the ball and then what were the struggles when the Patriots went to the 3-4 defensive look?
JF: Well, they played the 3-4 in the first quarter as well. You know they have multiple fronts just like most teams in the league. They play a little even spacing, a little odd spacing, a little arrow or diamond look. You know basically the same three fronts everybody in the league runs. You know I think in that game, we had three turnovers and the game got a little bit out of hand and we started playing catch up and that's never a fun spot to be in for any team.
Q: Does your team feel they should have won that game until it really got out of hand because of the turnovers?
JF: Not at all. It was what it was and this time we're one of eight teams still in the tournament and we've got a real big game in Foxborough.
Q: What's your relationship like with Bill Belichick? Do you guys have an off-field relationship?
JF: Yeah, you know I've known Bill a long time. He's been in the league a long time and you know he drew on his expertise on the defensive side of the ball. He was in New York the same time I was. We were on different teams, but still a unique situation you know where there are two teams in the same city. I've had great respect for Bill and [have] enjoyed his friendship over the years.
Q: You guys were able to slow down Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski the first time around. What did you guys do and do you anticipate being able to shut them down again?
JF: Well, I think you realize the day [Aaron] Hernandez had, you forgot to say his name. You know they've got tough matchups, they're all great players. Tom's [Brady] as good as anybody at finding those matchups and it will come down to that again this time I'm sure.
Q: When you put together a defensive game plan, the Patriots have a lot of weapons; guys that can be dynamic if you single cover them. What goes into the decision on whom to devote attention to single coverage whether it's Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, or anyone else?
JF: Well, I think the fact that there are more than one or two names that you just rattled off makes it hard for any defensive coach to defend the New England offense. So, at the end of the day you just try to mix it up and try to win some of those matchups.
Q: How often do you think about back to Super Bowl XXXVIII?
JF: Oh Lord, I will never forget it. I don't think that I dwell on it, but you know it's the only one that I've been in as a head coach and you know those things are no fun losing.
Q: Is playoff experience overrated? Is that something that we tend to blow out of proportion?
JF: It can be. I think the fact that we've got guys in our building that have been in them and I'm sure Bill [Belichick] leans on the guys in your building that have been in them. You know, how it picks up - most people describe it as you know a three-level intensity season. There's preseason, there's regular season, [and] there's playoff season. You know I think it reams it up a notch you know because if you lose, you go home. So, I think the idea that the same leadership in any big game is critical whether it's playoffs or a division race or what you have through the regular season.
Q: What is your regard for Tom Brady as a quarterback? Not just currently, but in the history of football.
JF: Well I think we've competed many times and you know you brought up that nice one in '03, well '04 calendar year, so that kind of states what I think of him.
Q: Pain in the ass?
JF: Well, in a good way. That's being very respectful.
Q: When you took over Denver, a team that had the number two overall pick in last year's draft, did you foresee the amount of success that you would have had in you first season?
JF: You know I don't think you ever really foresee. I think if you could foresee that well you might hit the race track or something, but you know I think it's been a lot of hard work. We have a good staff, we have a good bunch of guys that have worked really hard. Early on, especially with no offseason, I think it's hard to get that indication, but you know even 1-4 I still liked our team and thought we could get better and we've been able to do that.
Q: Has your team needed to have a level of maturity and poise to deal with all the attention thrust upon Tim Tebow? There's been so much conversation about Tebow and it doesn't seem to be any rancor amongst his teammates.
JF: That's a dynamic that really happens outside our building. You know I think Tim definitely has all the respect in the world from his teammates. Like you mentioned earlier, he doesn't seek it, you really don't have any control over it. We've good guys in that locker room and they've got great respect for him and he's got great respect for his teammates and we haven't had any issues.
Q: What's your take on Josh McDaniels jumping on board with the Patriots?
JF: Well, as I mentioned earlier, in an earlier question, I know Josh a little bit and it's always better to be employed as a coach than unemployed. We change personnel in this league quite a bit. Coaches change cities and players change cities - it's kind of what we sign up for.
Q: So you guys are scrambling trying to change all the play calls?
JF: No, because he doesn't even know our offense. Our offense is completely different.