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Elway asked Peyton to take the lead on signing Lilja


When the Broncos lost two starting centers, quarterback Peyton Manning stepped up to find a new one.

Manning told the Denver Post that after centers J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen got hurt, front office boss John Elway asked Manning to be the one to coax Ryan Lilja out of retirement.

“Hey, look, we just had a bad string of luck there between J.D. and Dan,” Manning said. “John asked me about Lilja. I told him he’s as good a teammate a quarterback can have. So John said, ‘Why don’t you reach out to him to see where he is?‘”

Lilja blocked for Manning on the Colts’ offensive line from 2004 to 2009, and now Lilja will block for Manning again in Denver. Lilja retired at the end of last season, but he began to reconsider recently, and the Bears had also contacted him.

“I’m glad to have Ryan as a teammate and glad to be reunited with him,” Manning said.

And Elway is glad that Manning can serve as not only the Broncos’ quarterback, but as an assistant to the general manager.

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45 Responses to “Elway asked Peyton to take the lead on signing Lilja”
  1. 3 Finger Lenny says: Aug 6, 2013 7:04 AM

    Elway needs to start doing his job & stop passing the buck

  2. denverdave3 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:09 AM

    Another great job by Elway. He uses all his resources to do his job. Not afraid to let somebody else have some credit.

  3. bigks77 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:12 AM

    Why is it that the four letter network station isn’t blowing this up like when Favre came out of retirement?

  4. somethinsbruin says: Aug 6, 2013 7:12 AM

    This article should start “with their front office crippled by DUI suspensions Peyton Manning begins internship with John Elway”

  5. raider23mike says: Aug 6, 2013 7:16 AM

    What a joke! Elway is allowing Manning to take care of teams decisions! Pretty soon after retirement, Manning should take Elways job

  6. youarejealousof6rings says: Aug 6, 2013 7:17 AM

    Elway is pathetic.

  7. officialgame says: Aug 6, 2013 7:17 AM

    Denver had certainly gotten their money’s worth from Manning.

  8. allhailkingflacco says: Aug 6, 2013 7:23 AM

    First time Peyton goes under center, someone needs to hit play on that song:

    “Reunited and it feels so good….”

  9. elliottcovert says: Aug 6, 2013 7:24 AM

    @3 Finger Lenny:

    Elway is doing his job by utilizing the resources he has available to him to put together the best team he can.

    Sometimes, that will mean relying on the knowledge and connections of players on his roster, both in evaluating potential personnel and recruiting them.

    Now if he had only taught Elvis Dumervil how to use a fax machine…

  10. haydenpryor says: Aug 6, 2013 7:25 AM

    What if as assistant general manager Elway makes him do all the team laundry and water the team ficus

  11. Gordon says: Aug 6, 2013 7:29 AM

    He’s also the IC & probably the head coach too.

  12. blackchief29 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:40 AM

    Nice route to father Manning for Dontari Poe this year…..go Chiefs!

  13. gonzo1378 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:45 AM


  14. officialgame says: Aug 6, 2013 7:53 AM

    Teams always have but because of his own declining health, age and a weak offensive line they will be after Manning like never before.

  15. broncsfan72 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:59 AM

    Elway is doing a fine job. Brought in the most coveted free agent to ever hit the market. made the playoffs last two seasons. Basically turned the franchise around from the bottom to the top. 44000 + at the scrimmage in pouring down rain. What more do you want? The Lombardi? Yeah well we won’t talk about that. YET!!!

  16. nonetruerthanblue says: Aug 6, 2013 8:17 AM

    It’s called leverage. Every good business person employs it when trying to make a deal. If you got it, you have to use it. Smart play by Elway here

  17. hakunamangata says: Aug 6, 2013 8:20 AM

    Probably said the same thing to Terrell Davis before the Super Bowl!

  18. wryly1 says: Aug 6, 2013 8:39 AM

    Expect Broncos OL to struggle this season.

  19. neemdaddy13 says: Aug 6, 2013 8:57 AM

    Elway is as slimy as they come, he’s also the team mascot. Manning on the other hand is a class act. Not sure how they co-exist in that respect. I really wish Peyton would have chosen a different franchise.

  20. spellingcops says: Aug 6, 2013 9:00 AM

    3 finger Lenny needs to find a job and not worry about how hall of famers do theirs.

  21. tikisays says: Aug 6, 2013 9:06 AM

    Peyton’s now doing assistant G.M work-that forehead must be getting bigger@bigger!!

  22. chrisk61 says: Aug 6, 2013 9:10 AM

    the real story here is that broncos have O-line issues and just signed some retired stiff to possibly start at center. i think last year will be the best year in manning’s broncos era.

  23. djflav303 says: Aug 6, 2013 9:22 AM

    He probly won’t even start, he’s just insurance and someone who is familiar with Manning and this offence. Everybody just relax, this O line will be fine as long as Clady and Franklin stay healthy. With the Wrs on that team he really only needs 2 seconds to get that ball off.

  24. staff2cj says: Aug 6, 2013 9:25 AM

    If Lilja flops, who gets blamed, Elway or Manning?

  25. vaphinfan says: Aug 6, 2013 9:40 AM

    Same ol Elway. Doing what he did to win his first super bowl…..letting others do the work why he trys not to mess up.

  26. rc33 says: Aug 6, 2013 9:48 AM

    Uh, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it the GM’s job to sign players? Or coax player out of retirement?
    Does Elway want Peyton to negotiate the contract too? Denver must have little cap flexibility; what if they can’t meet his number?

  27. eldarknight says: Aug 6, 2013 9:52 AM

    Love the haters. Gonna be a lotta eat’in crow when the Broncos hoist the SB trophy again in 2014. 3 rings for Elway, GM of the year. In Elway we trust.

  28. denver0718 says: Aug 6, 2013 9:58 AM

    Anybody that likes the Chargers Raiders or chiefs is going to have another disappointing year again GO Broncos

  29. lovefootball4life says: Aug 6, 2013 10:11 AM

    This team is my pick to be representing the AFC in the super bowl and I’m a die hard fan of the current champs – the Ravens. Always been a fan of Elway and Manning. Team is stacked with talent and has “something to prove” this year.

  30. 1historian says: Aug 6, 2013 10:17 AM

    smart move

  31. CKL says: Aug 6, 2013 10:35 AM

    officialgame says:
    Aug 6, 2013 7:17 AM
    Denver had certainly gotten their money’s worth from Manning.
    Indeed. That 8th one and done he’s Qb’ed in his career was priceless.

  32. listenup823 says: Aug 6, 2013 10:43 AM

    Raider23mike said “what a joke”…which I find redundant.. Now shut up..

  33. apkyletexas says: Aug 6, 2013 10:43 AM

    So – Manning is the only guy in Denver who isn’t too drunk to pick up the phone and offer a contract to a player?

    What do they need Elway and his DUI crew for then?

  34. joetoronto says: Aug 6, 2013 10:48 AM

    So John said, “Why don’t you reach out to him to see where he is?” “I’m busy drinking over here.”

  35. deathonwings410 says: Aug 6, 2013 11:07 AM

    Goes to show you, Elway is no Ozzie Newsome. He’s got a ways to go.

  36. dowhatifeellike says: Aug 6, 2013 11:07 AM

    Perhaps Elway should let Manning concentrate on playing. Championship talk is a bit premature when the team didn’t win a playoff game last year.

  37. Nickstixx says: Aug 6, 2013 12:00 PM

    wryly1 says:Aug 6, 2013 8:39 AM

    Expect Broncos OL to struggle this season.


    Actually the Denver Broncos have 4 pro-bowl caliber players on the O-line in Clady (LT), Beadles (LG), Vasquez (RG), and Franklin (RT). I’m sure the O-line will be top 5 in the league as it was last year.

  38. therealbleedcoltsblue says: Aug 6, 2013 12:21 PM

    Apparently Elway ALSO asked Peyton Manning not to single handedly throw the playoff game against the Ravens…


  39. wretchu says: Aug 6, 2013 12:25 PM

    Seems like half of these commenters don’t realize how the NFL works. This is not uncommon. You think that the Packers don’t have Rodgers or Matthews talk to their potential free agents targets? Or Brady talk to people the Pats are going after?

    When you’re recruiting players to join your team, it isn’t all about money. It’s about the environment and facilities and teammates as well. You have to sell the player on why they should come to your team instead of all others (or in this case, why he should come out of retirement to play again). You’d be foolish to not leverage every advantage that you have, and I’d say having Peyton freaking Manning is a big edge.

    Not to mention I’m pretty sure Peyton has played long enough and at a high enough level to have a say on what people will be blocking for him.

  40. broncosnative says: Aug 6, 2013 1:38 PM

    Ok here we go, 2011, ravens in position to score the game winning TD vs the pats, mason drops a catchable ball. What fueled the ravens entering the following season? Knowing that they can beat the almighty patriots and that they should have won that game. Niners, had the game tied up against the giants with numerous opportunities to win, what happened? Kyle Williams fumbled not once but twice, I’m sure a few tvs got tossed by some pissed niner fans. What fueled them? The change of QB made them more versatile and kaep took over the game at her than manage it like smith. These two teams suffered a gut wrenching lost 2 years ago and they fraught nail and tooth to get back finished where they didnt the previous year. Broncos, 2012, had the league and the ball with less than 2 minutes to play, what they do, run conservatively on 3rd and 7. Why would they want to give the ball back to the ravens when it was evident that the defense was struggling. Results, rahim Moore give up the biggest play of his young career, denver lost all momentum and they wasn’t getting it back. What have they learned from last year? You play to win, not to lose! Denver will be fueled just like the ravens and niners were to get back to the playoffs and go far.

  41. gostlcards5 says: Aug 6, 2013 2:08 PM


    Well said.

  42. fdugrad says: Aug 6, 2013 3:14 PM

    I hope this doesn’t mean that as a requirement of a front office job with the Broncs, that Peyton has to develop a drinking problem.

  43. ronik30 says: Aug 6, 2013 4:01 PM

    Stop hating on the broncos????

  44. magnum1963 says: Aug 6, 2013 5:50 PM

    Official game, you are an idiot. You gonna stuff the box with thomas decker welker and company? Yeah right. Watchout for Duke Ihenacho he hits so hard your mama will feel it. Watch. Shutup and watch.

  45. dpknowsfootball says: Aug 7, 2013 7:05 AM

    There are a lot of Bronco haters in here! Bring it! All of you will be crying come playoff time after we stomp the whole AFC!

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