After undergoing open-heart surgery on Nov. 4, John Fox is back with the Broncos.
The Denver head coach returned to work on Monday and spoke to the media for the first time since having his aortic valve replaced just four weeks ago, revealing that he’s never felt better.
“I’m actually in better shape now than I was a month ago,” Fox said.
Fox spent the majority of November recovering in his Charlotte, N.C., home, but the head coach made it back to Denver on Wednesday, and before officially assuming his coaching duties, he visited with his players after their Thanksgiving Day practice.
“I feel tremendous, obviously the doctors feel good about me getting back to work,” Fox said. “I actually would have preferred to have been back sooner, but there was a pretty hard deadline after the surgery of four weeks, and I honored that.
“I feel as healthy as I’ve ever felt in the last 20 years. I’m going to be smart. If all of a sudden I can’t hold my eyes open, I’m going to go home. But, like I said, the last three weeks I’ve been operating pretty much as I did the first eight weeks of the season. It’s not like I’m moving furniture or doing roofs. I mean, I sit somewhere and watch football. … [But] the procedure I had; I’m well.”
While the Broncos were certainly glad to welcome Fox back, the team and interim coach Jack Del Rio performed exceptionally well in his absence, amassing a 3-1 record and beating the Chiefs twice in that span. Denver currently sits in first place in the AFC West and is in the driver’s seat for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.
Fox may not have been on the sidelines, but he was never really away, either, as the 58-year-old watched tape from practice every day, studied the game tapes and kept in constant contact with Del Rio, but all of that didn’t make the time away any easier on Fox.
“Really the hardest part was watching the team play,” Fox said. “I talked to a lot of people, actually I talked to [Indianapolis Colts coach] Chuck Pagano and his wife and they said even when he was going through it, battling his disease, that was the hardest part, and I could concur.”