NFL Nation: Carolina Pantherss

Talking with John Fox

February, 24, 2011
2/24/11
1:05
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Random thoughts from the session with new Denver head coach John Fox:

Fox said the Broncos are totally open with their No. 2 pick. He said the team will take the best available player. Still, defense is expected to be the area Denver pursues with the pick.

Fox said he hasn’t studied Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers enough to compare him to former Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers. That comparison has often been made. The Panthers took Peppers with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2002 draft, Fox’s first draft in Carolina.

Fox said Denver will use parts of both the zone-blocking and traditional power-blocking schemes this season. Denver moved to the power-blocking scheme last year after using the zone-blocking scheme for 15 years.

Fox said he envisions Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers as defensive ends in the 4-3 defense. Fox said D.J. Williams will either be a middle linebacker or weakside linebacker in the 4-3.

Fox said the primary reason he is switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 is personnel.

Fox was very complimentary of new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who will be Denver’s sixth defensive coordinator in six seasons. Fox said he can see Allen, who was New Orleans’ secondary coach, becoming a future head coach in the NFL.

Fox said he is hopeful receiver Demaryius Thomas can return at some point early in the season. Thomas ruptured his Achilles earlier this month. The team expects Eddie Royal to return in May from hip surgery. Fox said he doesn’t expect the two injuries to change Denver’s draft needs at receiver.

Fox would not rule out the return of right tackle Ryan Harris.

Fox said he thinks nose tackle Jamal Williams can transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3. Still, the team will have to decide whether to bring back Williams.

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