After Denver lost to Indianapolis in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, QB Peyton Manning was surprisingly non-committal about returning to the team next year. (We set the odds on his future yesterday.)
Now, news has surfaced that the Broncos and head coach John Fox have decided to part company. Apparently both Fox and GM John Elway agreed that Fox was no longer the right fit for the team, even though Denver has gone 46-18 during his tenure and made the playoffs in four straight years.
Whatever the reasons, both the Broncos and Fox are in a state of flux. Rumors are swirling about who will be the next bench boss in Denver; both offensive coordinator Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio seem like prime candidates to take over, but the latest reports are that the Broncos won’t be going in-house.
Mike Shanahan, who previously coached the team to a Super Bowl win (back when Elway was at QB), is another popular pick among pundits. But, again, insiders don’t see it happening.
The best information says that Seattle DC Dan Quinn and Arizona DC Todd Bowles are near the top of Elway’s list. But they’re also near the top of almost every team’s list, so there’s no guarantee Elway will land either. If he doesn’t will the Broncos reconsider staying with a familiar face in Gase or Del Rio? Only time will tell. But, with the Broncos’ coaching search seemingly wide open, we put the odds as follows:
Odds to be the head coach of the Denver Broncos in 2015-16:
- Adam Gase: 7/2
- Dan Quinn: 4/1
- Jack Del Rio: 6/1
- Mike Shanahan: 8/1
With Fox suddenly on the market, his name has been added to the potential candidates for almost every vacancy. The front-runner right now looks like the Bears. According to ESPN, Chicago GM Ryan Pace is somewhat familiar with Fox, and team consultant Ernie Accorsi has a great relationship with Fox from their time together with the Giants.
There is no real second place team after Chicago at the moment. Though his offensive prowess would have made him a good fit for the Jets, Fox has apparently declined to interview for the vacancy. Would he reconsider if the Bears job falls through?
The Falcons and 49ers are both still in need of a coach, but have their sights set elsewhere at the moment. On the off-chance Coughlin doesn’t return to the Giants in 2015-16, Fox would be a prime candidate for that job.
Odds of John Fox coaching the following teams in 2015-16:
- Chicago Bears: 1/2
- New York Jets: 8/1
- San Francisco 49ers: 10/1
- Atlanta Falcons: 10/1
- New York Giants: 15/1
Turning to some less serious odds, what will Fox do next if he decides to retire or can’t find a head coaching job?
He would be an attractive candidate for an offensive coordinator position, and a slightly less attractive candidate for a DC job. He is also has a recognizable name and face – and has a great track record as a coach – which make him a solid candidate for TV.
There’s also the possibility that he’ll want to step away from football for a while. (Fox and his wife co-chair a non-profit in North Carolina from his time with the Panthers.) While we have no insider information, that won’t stop us speculating on his current mindset!
Odds on what John Fox will do next year if he’s not an NFL head coach:
- NFL OC: 2/1
- NFL DC: 3/1
- TV Analyst: 6/1
- Full-time philanthropist: 15/1
And what are the chances that John Elway goes completely off the board in his search for a new coach and (potentially) a new QB? Not great. But Elway is known as a fierce competitor and could be eager to have a little more control over the team. Who has more control over a team’s performance than the GM? The coach! Who has more control over a team’s performance than the coach? The quarterback!
Odds that John Elway …
- coaches the Broncos himself in 2015-16: 100/1
- returns to quarterback the Broncos in 2015-16: 10000/1
- hires Peyton Manning to coach the Broncos in 2015-16: 1000/1
- hires Peyton Manning to be the GM of the Broncos in 2015-16: 10000/1
(Photo credit: Henry D19 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)