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Elway disagreed with Fox on how to get to 'next level'

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John Elway gave a simple answer when asked why John Fox was no longer the coach of the Denver Broncos.

"I think the main thing between John and I was we disagreed how to get to the next level," Elway said during a Tuesday news conference at Broncos headquarters. "Because we accomplished so much, four AFC West championships. I think the biggest miss between us was how are we going to take that next step and what it was going to take to get to that next step. That's where that disagreement came from."

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Hiring Fox was Elway's first order of business after re-joining the Broncos four years ago. He repeatedly stated that Fox was the perfect person for the job "at that time." Elway made it clear he was disappointed, not just by the losses to the Seahawks and Colts that ended the last two seasons, but by how they lost those games.

"If there's one thing that you'd like to have and you want to feel is at least in the last game you want to feel like you go out kickin' and screaming," he said. "And that you're right there. And I think two years in a row it didn't feel like we went out kickin' and screaming because of the way we played in the last game. So hopefully we get that turned around, that's going to be our goal."

Elway didn't give any insight into Peyton Manning's playing future, but did acknowledge he understands any head-coaching candidate is going to want to know if Manning will be under center for another season. Elway said he had a "great conversation" with Manning on Monday, but knew from personal experience it was too early to discuss the quarterback's next step.

Elway said that offensive coordinator Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio were both options to replace Fox, but neither coach has an interview scheduled with the team at this time. Elway has yet to contact any outside candidates, making it sound like the process will take time.

"We're going to look at everybody," he said. "There's a bunch of quality candidates out there."

At one point, Elway was asked what's missing for the Broncos.

"We have not chosen to peak at the right time," he said. "When you look at our seasons, we've come out of the gate a lot faster than we've finished. So if there's one thing I can point at, we haven't finished as strong as we've started. For us to do what we want to do, for us to win a championship like Mr. Bowlen wants to do, we've got to be peaking at the right time and we haven't been able to do that."

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