Christmas came early for John Fox when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning.
Manning is his own offensive coordinator; bringing his playbook from the Colts and installing his own offense. This gave Fox time to focus on the defense more. The Broncos are a much better defense in 2012, ranking 11th in pass defense and 10th in rushing defense. Von Miller, the Broncos’ 2011 first round draft pick has come as advertised in the pass rush department, and in his second year, has emerged as a defensive star.
Greybeard Champ Bailey is still patrolling the Broncos secondary and providing the leadership the young defensive players need. Fox spoke to The Dave Logan Show on KOA in Denver about Miller and his improved defense.
On Miller being a defensive MVP candidate:
“I think the evidence on tape, after nine games; he would be in that conversation. We still have a lot of football left. … He’s definitely capable, he’s got a lot of great ability and he’s a neat young man that’s not afraid to work. So there’s no reason why he can’t continue to get better.”
On his improving defense:
“We’re actually executing better. A lot’s been mentioned about our development offensively, and it’s kind of the same. We’ve changed things quite a bit, scheme-wise, from a year ago, and we did lose four players on IR that were starters a year ago, so we had new players in there. And they just started executing better, doing there job, all 11 guys. That’s why I felt comfortable about us going to get better, because it wasn’t physical, it was more mental. And again it goes back to the leadership in that locker room and those guys wanting to get better, and they have.”