John Fox Named Broncos Coach

The news was announced on by , the Broncos’ Hall of Fame quarterback who is now the team’s executive vice president for football operations.

The Broncos fired Josh McDaniels after two controversy-filled seasons in the job. The Broncos finished 4-12 this season.

When Fox began in in 2002, he took over a 1-15 team and two years later led it to the , where it lost to the . In nine seasons, Fox was 73-71, with three winning seasons, three playoff appearances and two N.F.C. championship game appearances. The finished an -worst 2-14 this season.

But Fox, who spent five seasons as the Giants’ defensive coordinator, is regarded as an outstanding defensive coach and never had the benefit of a franchise quarterback in Carolina. He and Elway will have to decide whether , the former first-round draft pick who is still considered a raw talent, will start next season.

Fox, Elway said in a statement, was “a dynamic and proven leader who will energize our entire organization.”

Hours before the Broncos’ announcement, the hired Pat Shurmur as their coach. Shurmur was the ’ offensive coordinator and is credited with rapidly making the rookie quarterback Sam Bradford a rising star.

The Browns hope Shurmur can do the same for , who showed promise when he was thrust into the starting job because of a series of injuries.

Shurmur’s uncle, Fritz, who died in 1999, was the Browns president ’s defensive coordinator in when the Packers won the Super Bowl in 1996.

One team still has a head coaching vacancy: the .

WANNSTEDT MEETS , the former coach of the , met his former colleague and the Bills’ first-year coach, Chan Gailey, to see if Buffalo might have for a job for him.

The Bills did not provide details in announcing that the meeting had taken place Thursday.

Wannstedt, who was pressured to resign by Pitt last month, has an extensive defensive background and would be a good fit for a Bills defense that had difficulty stopping the run and allowed 30 or more points nine times.

When Wannstedt became coach of the in 2000, he hired Gailey as his offensive coordinator. It is unclear what position, if any, Wannstedt would be offered in Buffalo.

The Bills have an opening at linebackers coach, but the defensive coordinator George Edwards is expected to keep his job. (AP)

LABOR TALKS SLOW The N.F.L. and the players union acknowledged that they had not held a large-group negotiating session since November — and there were no formal meetings scheduled to work toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

Thursday marked seven weeks until the current C.B.A. is set to expire, and while the private talks are seemingly at a standstill, the public rhetoric is not.

“The negotiations are not proceeding very vigorously; no one’s booking dates right now,” Bob Batterman, an outside lawyer for the league, said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

“You need a serious negotiating partner to have a negotiation,” added Batterman, a former lawyer for the N.H.L.

In response, the union and its general counsel, Richard Berthelsen, said that “any suggestion that we want a lockout is coming from outer space.”

The union spokesman George Atallah called the words a “desperate attempt to point the finger back at us.”

The union has long said it believes the owners have been preparing for a lockout.

Each side, however, emphasized there was a behind-the-scenes back-and-forth taking place, even if there were not formal talks. (AP)

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