Broncos boss John Elway knows it when he sees it.
It’s hard for aging quarterbacks to maintain their standard of play, to do things the way they used to, and when playoff losses pile up over the years, it changes the way people view you.
Also, he sees Peyton Manning.
Perhaps no one knows as well as Elway the spot the Broncos’ current quarterback is in.
“It is hard. And it is hard, the older you get,” Elway said of his own career, via Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. “And it is harder, . . . all of a sudden to make that adjustment and start relying on other people, when you’ve relied on yourself for so long to be that guy who’s going to pull the trigger and be that guy in big games that has to pull it out.
“There is a transition to that. And it is tough.”
While the perception of Elway in the playoffs is buoyed by his two Super Bowl wins to close a career, his postseason numbers are similar to Manning’s and worse in some ways.
Elway’s playoff record was 7-8 before winning his final seven playoff games, and his postseason passer rating of 79.7 is rather unremarkable. Manning has a 12-13 record all-time in the playoffs, with an 88.0 passer rating in the postseason.
So Elway understands that by the time his team won Super Bowls, it wasn’t necessarily about him.
“When we won those two championships, what was the formula?,” he said. “The formula was to play good defense and really, offensively, it was about running the ball.”
That sounds familiar, and Elway the executive understands that perfectly well.