Peyton Manning Shined Against The 49ers, But Broncos Head Coach John Fox Believes His Team Has A Lot Of Work To Do

August 29, 2012 – 8:30 am by Steven Cuce

Peyton Manning sure looked sharp this past Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. No.18 threw two touchdown passes in less than a quarter of work in the Broncos 29-24 loss to the 49ers. Broncos fans saw the Peyton Manning they had been waiting to see all summer as he shredded one of the top defenses in football.

John Fox wasn’t ready to sing the praises of his first team on Sunday. The Broncos head coach still has some tough decisions to make on final roster cuts and believes there’s much more work to be done.

John Fox joined KOA in Denver with The Dave Logan Show to discuss making 13 cuts this week before the final preseason game, the decision to let go of running back Xavier Omon, being proud with the effort from the Broncos defensive line, the improvements made by the Denver Broncos during the preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers and the chances of rookie Brock Osweiler becoming the backup quarterback.

How tough were the 13 cuts you had to make today?

“Well they are all tough. You get close to these guys and you try to find the buttons to push, so you have to get to know them and they’re goal is all to make an NFL team and the goal to that dream is never easy, but it comes with the territory. Today and next Friday aren’t my favorite days.”

Can you explain the decision to let go of running back Xavier Omon?

“Really it came down to numbers. We got a number of backs that we like better. Xavier is a great kid. I wish him nothing but the best and he did everything we asked. We had him on the squad last year. He’s a guy we obviously liked. I think we acquired and got back some other guys that we like a little bit better.”

You have to be proud with what the defensive line has shown. We asked in the draft why didn’t you draft more help at defensive line, but are we seeing why you like the defensive line so much in the preseason?

“Well like everyone out there we have room for improvement. I don’t think as a coach you are satisfied. I like the progress we have made. I like our team and how they get along with each other. Jay Rodgers [defensive line coach]…we even had a change in coaches and I think he has done an outstanding job with that group and they are gelling and getting more confidence as we move along.”

After looking at the tape what did you see against the San Francisco 49ers?

“Well I’m usually not too far off right after the game when I speak to our team and all in all our first group was better this week then they were last week. That’s what you are looking for because that’s the most critical. I think San Francisco did some unusual things with what we call a ’23 personnel’ and things that our second unit hadn’t seen much and they’re a young group to begin with and I thought we responded perfectly. As coaches we didn’t help as much as we could have cause we don’t game plan in this stage. All in all we’ve got a lot work to do and I’m sure the other 31 coaches in the league believe they have to do that with their teams. I thought our first group made very good improvement and I was happy with their performance.”

Can Brock Osweiler be the backup quarterback for Peyton Manning? Osweiler has struggled in the preseason. Do you believe you need a veteran quarterback to be the backup?

“I think a lot of it with any quarterback is your supporting cast. I think we get a lot of chances at practice to evaluate all those guys and we do see how they react in games with maybe not an elite supporting cast, but I think he’s responded well. He’s a rookie. He’s got tremendous upside as far as the height, weight, speed. He’s shown some good mobility. He does have good arm strength and quarterback is probably the hardest position in football and maybe sports, so he’s coming along just fine. Who wins that number three spot? We’ll see soon.”

Listen to John Fox on KOA in Denver here [Interview begins at the 4:40 mark of the podcast]

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