Honesty is Broncos' best offseason policy

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28
6:00
PM ET
It was a telling moment from a competitive guy, one who knows the question is going to come and needs an answer even if he doesn't want to publicly reveal it.

[+] EnlargeJohn Elway
AP Photo/Paul SancyaJohn Elway and the Broncos have to take a deep look at themselves with their Super Bowl loss still lingering in the rear-view mirror.
That's because if you've been an NFL head coach fortunate enough to play in the season's final meaningful game and not win it, the question will always come. Over and over again in the season that follows.

And Denver Broncos head coach John Fox knows what's ahead in the coming months.

Former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, who is entering his third season as St. Louis Rams head coach, saw his receiver -- Kevin Dyson -- tackled one yard short of sending a Super Bowl into overtime. Long after the game ended and the workers had started to clean up the confetti that had rained down on the other team, Fisher was asked if he had already thought about what would change the result.

"One yard," he said. "That's my answer. We have to get everybody to get one more yard."

This past week, with the Broncos' 35-point loss in the Super Bowl not all that far in the rearview mirror yet, Fox was asked what he would change about Super Bowl XLVIII, a bad day at the office for the Broncos that was broadcast to every continent on the planet.

"Probably everything," Fox said. "Right now I'd like to get there [again] ... even my kids were getting on me, the getaway hotel 'Dad, that's 80 percent bad' ... You change a lot of things. You change if it didn't work ... It's like you end up every season, if you don't win the last game, it gnaws on you and it gnaws on you for a while. It really never kind of goes away, it's like that scar, but you learn from it, you move on, and you do everything you can to get better ... but I didn't watch it for a week."

The Broncos' football boss, John Elway, said following the Broncos' double-overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens to close out the 2012 season the team had to be honest with itself about what happened and why. They ramped up the aggressiveness on offense, put the no-huddle attack in high gear -- a long way down the road from taking a knee with time still on the clock and timeouts still in hand -- and re-wrote many of the league's season records doing it.

The Broncos need that same honesty this time around. They have been open as to why they went defense-first in free agency, why they let most of their own free agents go into the market and why they needed more speed and youth all over the roster. But the Broncos have also tempted the odds having not turned back-to-back 13-3 seasons into more than crushing disappointment in their season's final game. And to change that they will have to continue to be honest, from the top down, with themselves as to why that happened.

And the one thing they -- Elway, Fox or anybody else -- simply can't take away from all that is status quo.

Jeff Legwold

ESPN Denver Broncos reporter

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