Peyton Manning spent six hours Friday with the Denver Broncos. He spent 6 1/2 Sunday with Arizona. But Denver is thought to be the front-runner for the services of the unemployed quarterback.
Denver's courtship featured the Johns -- former quarterback John Elway and head coach John Fox. Elway is Denver's executive vice president of football operations. But he is bigger than his title. He hired Fox. He runs the operation.
Fox is former head coach of the Carolina Panthers. When Fox was in Charlotte, he was conservative. He emphasized defense and the run. He wasn't adverse to the pass; Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith amassed impressive numbers.
But Fox was safe, a development Elway was aware of when he hired him.
Fans ripped Fox's offensive coordinators for calling draw plays and staying within the lines. First they went after Dan Henning. Then Fox replaced him with Jeff Davidson. Hooray. Jeff favors zone blocking. Then fans turned on Davidson.
Both did what Fox told them. Offensive coordinators work within the parameters the head coach sets. I assure you that those third-and-long draw plays were not Henning's idea.
But the best coaches adjust. Fox was always superior at adjusting on the sideline during a game. If he signs Manning, he'll also adjust his philosophy, no matter how awkward it is for him. Those parameters will expand, and those draw plays will contract.
It will be uncomfortable. Changing what we believe usually is. But Denver wouldn't pursue Manning if it didn't plan to open up and let him play.