ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos coach John Fox is bracing for the possibility of losing one, if not both, of his top assistants.
In the wake of the Broncos making the postseason for the first time since 2005, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and defensive boss Dennis Allen have drawn quite a bit of interest as potential head coaching candidates.
McCoy is a hot commodity for the work he's done in helping the team restructure their offense in the middle of the season to better suit the playing style of unconventional quarterback Tim Tebow.
Allen has caught the eye of potential suitors for turning a defensive unit that was one of the worst in the league a year ago into a stalwart bunch.
Fox finds it quite flattering that his assistants are in high demand.
"I think it's very complimentary to this organization that they're having that opportunity and to their work," Fox said. "I think any assistant coach's aspiration is to be a head coach. It speaks for what this organization has accomplished this season. Time will tell."
McCoy flew to Miami on Monday to interview for the Dolphins vacant coaching position.
This time, the timing was better, after the Broncos were eliminated from the postseason with a 45-10 loss in New England on Saturday night.
McCoy was scheduled to interview for the Jaguars opening. But when the Broncos stunned heavily favored Pittsburgh 29-23 in overtime in the first round, the meeting had to be pushed back. Jacksonville couldn't wait, going with Mike Mularkey.
In addition, AFC West rival Oakland has received permission from the Broncos to interview McCoy.
Allen is on the Raiders' radar as well. The first-year defensive coordinator also interviewed with St. Louis last week, before the Rams hired longtime NFL coach Jeff Fisher.
The fact that two of his assistants could be headed out the door doesn't faze Fox.
"That's my job, to bring in replacement coaches, if it were to get to that," he said. "It's no different than a year ago, when it was my job to hire them. Any time you win, it's a tribute to that success and you're going to lose coaches and you've got to find good replacements."
Lost in Tebowmania was the job McCoy did with the offense, installing a read-option offense similar to the one Tebow ran at Florida. Tebow flourished in the system, rushing for a franchise-best 660 yards this season.
Fox lauded McCoy for his work in Tebow's development.
"He's done a tremendous job," Fox said. "He's definitely capable (of being a head coach). He's got those abilities."
The same goes for Allen, who orchestrated a successful switch to the 4-3 defensive alignment.
Champ Bailey selfishly hopes Allen stays put for another season. Allen is the sixth different coordinator the Broncos have had in as many years. Bailey wouldn't mind a little stability for once.
"But if he does get a head coaching job, you know, I'll be proud of him," Bailey said.
THE GOOD LIFE: All in all, John Elway had a successful ride in his first season as vice president of football operations.
The Hall of Fame quarterback helped get the franchise back to the postseason with his moves off the field rather than on it.
About the only ripple Elway created along the way was when he took Tim Tebow to task on the airwaves, saying his unpolished QB had to improve his passing skills.
Elway was called out by fans on Twitter for his honesty. He hasn't been assailed like that since, well, his playing days.
Since retiring, Elway has been living the good life. He's been involved in one business venture after another, including restaurants and auto dealerships.
So, does he want to keep doing this football thing?
"Yeah, I want to keep doing it. No question," Elway said, with a grin.
Elway said his experience of once running the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League prepared him for this role. Well, at least it curbed his appetite to suit up again.
"I got a lot of my frustrations out in the Arena Football League," Elway said. "Realizing that once the ball kicks off, you really don't have much control. For me, it's the next best thing, to be able to have some of the control outside the lines. You have none inside.
"I enjoyed doing this. Now, I will say this, being in my position is a heck of a lot better on the body than the old job. But I think mentally it's still just as tough, with the wins and the losses."
END OF DAWKINS?: Brian Dawkins was an inspirational leader on the field for the Broncos until a late-season neck injury sidelined the 16-year veteran.
Might this have been the final chapter of Dawkins' career?
Champ Bailey doesn't believe so. He anticipates Dawkins to be back next season.
"I know he doesn't want to end like this," Bailey said. "But, you know, the past three years have been great. There's not a better teammate I've had. He's bar none one of the best teammates ever."
Coach John Fox couldn't agree more.
"I'm not sure there's a more respected guy in this building. He's been tremendous," Fox said. "He was tremendous even not being able to play down the stretch. I've got the utmost respect for Brian. I know our team and this building and really the entire city of Denver does."
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ON THE MEND: Broncos general manager Brian Xanders sounded encouraged that many of the players who finished the season on injured reserve would be ready for training camp. That possibly includes tailback Knowshon Moreno, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at Kansas City on Nov. 13.
"We'll obviously monitor their progress as we go through the offseason, but we hope the best for them and we have some time," Xanders said. "It will be good to see them come back for training camp."