Denver Coach Fox Speaks to Media

Opening statement:

“Good evening everybody. I’m John Fox, head coach of the Denver Broncos. I just wanted to say it’s a pleasure and honor to be here in Jersey City. It’s great to be back in New Jersey. Any questions?”

On putting last year’s playoff loss against Baltimore behind the team:

“There’s no doubt it’s been a journey. It kind of started there. We had finished the season pretty strong a year ago. Very disappointed in the loss at home. We worked very hard in the regular season to be the number one seed. I would say that it was a fire in everybody’s belly, the whole offseason as we went through preseason and, really, as we started this season. We had mostly the core of our players returning, so a lot of them had that fire in their belly. There’s no doubt this team has been through a lot of injuries. I even went away for a month. It’s been a pretty tough mindset football team, and we’re excited about this opportunity.”

On the Super Bowl being played in cold weather, and if strategy is at all affected:

“Well, obviously the elements are something that’s a part of strategy. First of all, I spent five years with the Giants, so I understand the weather even though the weather has changed a little bit. I think in order to be a championship football team we’ve got to be weatherproof, and I think our football team played in all different elements this year. I feel comfortable with where we’re at as far as the elements, but it’s a part of the game. I think tradition-wise, it’s been a part of the league and a part of a lot of championships.”

On whether the New York Jets’ outdoor practice field will be useable, and if Denver would consider using the indoor facility:

“We practice there tomorrow. It will be my first look at it. It’s apparently new. It wasn’t around when I was here. They were still on the other side of the river. But I’ve heard great things about the facility. I heard it’s a phenomenal facility and, really, until we look at the fields, test the fields – we brought our grounds people. I understand the indoor facility is very much like ours except their field house is completed, which is a big difference. So we may or may not go in there. I’d prefer grass. It saves our players’ legs, but if need be we’ll go indoors or on their synthetic surface.”

On how QB Peyton Manning makes his job easier:

“I’ve been doing this for a while, almost a quarter of a century. I forget what year I was a head coach. I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of great players. He’s obviously is one of them. In my opinion, no question, a first-ballot Hall of Famer in some point. He’s a tremendous, tremendous player as well as a guy, as far as what he went through. It’s a pretty different injury that he experienced. To work back and to learn a new offense, learn a new football team, learn a new city and two years later be in the Super Bowl is pretty incredible. I hope that’s glowing enough.”

On what he thinks about the No. 1 offense in the league going up against the No. 1 defense:

“I think for the fans it’s an incredible matchup. Watching them and knowing Pete Carroll for many years, I’ve got the utmost respect. They’ve done a lot, the Seahawks, in a short period of time. I think it’s a tribute to their personnel people. Their whole team has done a heck of a job. Some people picked that way early in the season. For them to go through the late part of the season, crunch time, and be the No. 1 seed and fight through a tough division and tough conference and finish No. 1 in defense in just about every important category. And then on our side, being the No. 1 seed; I’m not sure exactly when that matchup has last happened, but I know it hasn’t been real recent. It should be a tremendous matchup, and it’s one we’re very excited about.”

On what this game means for his legacy:

 “I hope to do this a lot longer. Partly through the season I wasn’t going to be doing it very long, but I think… I don’t know about all of that. I always like to wait until your body of work is done, and I think you’re going to have to ask Peyton as far as it relates to him. It’s very hard to get to this game and I think everybody involved… I’m sure their side and our side are very excited.”

On how hard he was looking at Seattle QB Russell Wilson in the 2012 draft and what he thought of his leadership ability:

“Well, Russell and I go back even further than that. I spent time in that part of the country when he was a quarterback at N.C. State with Tom O’Brien and his staff. So I actually got to meet him even when he was still in college at N.C. State, even before he transferred to Wisconsin. He’s a tremendous young man. What he’s accomplished in a very short time in our league doesn’t surprise me at all; just his makeup, his leadership ability and just the kind of competitor he is.”