When a team struggles in the preseason, it’s usually the head coach who gathers the team together to tell them they need to get better. After the Broncos lost in this preseason to the Seahawks, Broncos front office boss John Elway was the one who stepped in.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said that when they lost 40-10 to the Seahawks in August, a furious Elway read the team the riot act.
“John pretty much laid it on us after that game — that was a butt kicking,” Manning said. “He talked about what he thought our potential could be and didn’t want to see that wasted. I think guys got the message.”
Manning himself played well in that game against Seattle, completing 11 of 16 passes for 163 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions in a quarter and a half of work. But the Broncos played badly on defense and special teams, and after Manning left the game the backups struggled on offense as well. Manning said he sensed that Elway was unhappy not only with the players, but with the coaches for not getting the team better prepared.
“He might have been giving a message to coaches as well as the players and everybody in the room got the message,” Manning said. “It was the first time he had addressed the team and when he had something to say it was important.”
The preseason may not matter, but that game mattered to Elway. And it lit a fire under the Broncos.