Coach John Fox needed emotional shock absorbers and a whole lot of faith to endure the Broncos' bumpy road to the Super Bowl — a road that included his own open-heart surgery and the loss of star linebacker Von Miller.

That resiliency, Fox said, stems from important life lessons he learned from former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll, a Hall of Famer.

Fox joined Noll's staff in Pittsburgh in 1989 as a 34-year-old defensive backs coach fresh off a three-year stint at the University of Pittsburgh. In Week 1, Cleveland humiliated the Steelers 51-0, and Cincinnati beat the Steelers 41-10 in Week 2.

But the Steelers rebounded to finish 9-7, winning their final three games of the regular season and teaching Fox a valuable lesson.

"I was very blessed to be with Chuck Noll as head coach," Fox said Monday. "We kind of had a bizarre season. ...

"It wasn't a very tremendous start. Everybody was down. And of course, fans as they are, were a little bit honest. (Noll) stayed even-keel. That is the most valuable lesson: to be the same guy and don't go through the highs and lows, because it is very easy to do, especially with outside influences."