Elway is putting in the hours for the Broncos

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When word first emerged of Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway returning to the Broncos with duties that placed him in charge of the football operations, we were skeptical.  There was no reason to believe that he had the ability to run an NFL team — or the willingness to put in the time to do the job the way it needs to be done.

We immediately thought of Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who took an executive position with the Dolphins several years ago before apparently realizing after three weeks that the gig entailed long hours and a skill set that a guy who can throw a football really well simply may not have.

Though it remains to be seen whether Elways has the skills to turn around the currently bumbling Broncos, he’s definitely putting in the time, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

“Now that we’re in the draft meetings, we get in here about 8 and get out of here about 7, 7:30,” Elway said, per Klis.  “The thing is I took this job to be successful.  And having grown up in a football family, having played football most of my life, I knew what it was going to take before I took the job.

“I’ve enjoyed it.  It’s really not work if you love what you’re doing.”

That love of what he is doing has included studying film of more than 300 prospects in advance of the draft, during which the Broncos hold the second overall pick.

Klis also dusts off the argument that Elway’s time with the Colorado Crush of the AFL prepared him for the job he now holds, and Klis says that only “NFL snobs” discount that experience.

Consider us, then, one of the NFL snobs to which Klis is referring.  Indeed, what other person has jumped from running an AFL team to running an NFL team?  Precisely the same number who have jumped from being head coach of an AFL team to being head coach of an NFL team.

Except for Elway.

Bottom line?  Elway got his current job based on what he did as a player and what he means to the Broncos organization.  Unlike Marino, however, Elway has embraced the position — and he’s working as hard as he would have been if he’d worked his way into the job via years in lower-level NFL positions.

Whether he can pull it all together and make the Broncos competitive again remains to be seen.  So far, the signs are encouraging.

27 responses to “Elway is putting in the hours for the Broncos

  1. Only time will tell…..But that being said, this is an organization that hired Josh McDaniels, and drafted Tim Tebow..Gave an aging Brian Dawkins 35 million dollars..How could Elway do any worse?…And for my money any QB that can win two Superbowls with the brain fart that is Mike Shanahan as head coach deserves a shot……I may be biased as i, not a Bronco fan, consider Elway the greatest QB of all time…….

  2. There are 32 GM’s in the league.

    What are the backgrounds of each of the other guys?

    What do you believe makes a successful candidate to be a team executive in the NFL?

    He is an extra cog in the Denver Bronco football operation that some/many teams don’t even have as a position. He reports to the president and has a GM who works for him. Gives the GM someone to answer to who was a very successful former player in the league instead of a “non football guy”. He is helping to make sure the Broncos put together a strong team.

    If I were an owner of an NFL team I would consider a formerly successful QB as a top level candidate. Particularly if I had the money to create a “bonus” position. (remember, other teams have the GM wear both hats….in Denver, Elway is an extra guy many teams don’t have)

    I am not a Denver Bronco fan, however, I would have no problem with a former player (particularly a highly successful former QB) being hired to be the GM or high level executive for my favorite team.

    In Washington the owner is supposed to “stay out of it” and let his “football people” make the decisions.

    Well in Denver the owner is doing exactly that and he is supposed to be stupid for that????

    Put Elway in a room with the other 31 GM’s in the NFL. Let’s have a head to head tournament of how much each one actually knows about football and what type of players make up a winning team.

    I’d put my money on Elway making a deep run in that type of tournament. Here are just a few of the GM’s in the league. I wanted to see how many had a football background. Many, perhaps even most do indeed have a football background. Then, of those with a football background most didn’t qualify for the NFL….of those who did, most were not high level players. Of those who were high level players (ie. Ozzie Newsome) I think they are doing very well in their job. (I am not a Baltimore fan either but I sure wouldn’t mind Ozzie being in charge of my favorite team. He does a great job for the Ravens.

    Buddy Nix (former college LB & Fullback) (Buffalo GM)
    Jeff Ireland (former kicker in college) (Miami GM)
    Ozzie Newsome (NFL Hall of Fame – TE) (Baltimore GM)
    Rick Smith (former college safety) (Houston GM)
    Mike Reinfeldt (NFL All Pro Safety) (Tennessee GM)
    Ted Thompson (NFL LB) (Green Bay GM)

    just a few examples. There are many more….

    I think Elway will do just fine.

  3. I too am surpirised by the dedication and smarts he had displayed. Whether or not in translates into W’s is another thing.

    Key words that Elway spoke that everyone wishes they could say when talking about your J-O-B that you put in monster hours for – Enjoy & Love.


  4. I hated the guy when he played, my team could never beat him.

    I’m pulling for him now, though. Not every former star athlete will fail as an executive.

  5. And for my money any QB that can win two Superbowls with the brain fart that is Mike Shanahan as head coach deserves a shot……
    Problem is, he lost 2 Super Bowl’s before then, v. the Giants, Redskins and 49ers (who dropped 55 on them) …the brain fart and Terrell Davis got them the ring..yes, Elway played a part, but thats about it, because he’d have won the first 3 he was in…right?

  6. “Problem is, he lost 2 Super Bowl’s before then, v. the Giants, Redskins and 49ers (who dropped 55 on them) …the brain fart and Terrell Davis got them the ring..yes, Elway played a part, but thats about it, because he’d have won the first 3 he was in…right?”
    You remember any other players on those 3 teams that lost in the Super Bowl? Didn’t think so. Elway carried those teams more than any other single player has carried a team since. Give him some talent, and he led a historically great team to two titles even though he was at the waning end of his career.

  7. Elway paid attention in his classes at Stanford. He had the dedication to build an extremely successful car business while still a player. He’s a very proud man who retired instead of trying for a third consecutive Super Bowl title because he knew his knee would make him a part time player during the regular season. Shanahan and the entire team was fine with the idea of keeping Elway healthy until the playoffs, but he nixed the idea. John Elway was not the type of man to accept doing any job half way.

  8. You dont go to stanford being sub par at anything. You dont become a HOF qb being sub par at anything, You dont become a billionaire because you somehow lucked into it.
    He may not succeed but it will not be because he didnt put in the time, the effort learn the necessary skills…..
    But from what I know other than his marriage, everything elway has touched has turned to gold.

  9. Yes, PFT is “one of the NFL snobs”, by their own admission. They mentioned “Indeed, what other person has jumped from running an AFL team to running an NFL team?” but conveniently neglected to report the fact that ALL the original AFC teams did NOT belong to the NFL but “jumped to running an NFL team” with the merger of the two entities.

    The “NFL snobs” also unequally censor their readership and without merit. They remove posts because they don’t agree with what they say, not because they are in anyway offensive. If you don’t believe me, save this post if you are fortunate to have had a chance to read it before they systematically remove it because it speaks the truth, a truth they won’t agree with. Through censorship, they are able to falsely bolster their own credibility by removing ALL opinions that do not conform to their own. Most people will believe anything, as long as they are only provided with one point of view.

  10. Well maybe he can get Denver back to the Super Bowl the same way Shanahan did it, pay players under the table. Denver had to give up draft picks for both of those Super Bowl victories because they payed players outside of the cap. Players they probably would have lost to free agency and players that had there bank records searched after the Super Bowl. Washington will get what they deserve for hiring Shamahan,several more years of mediocrete.

  11. Bravo!!! BRAVO!!! bronco1st!!!
    do you really expect anything different from a company that embraces their own demise….CHK the fairness doctrine…..these idiots dont think those rules will affect them.

  12. It’s easy to MMQB the daily news. Hell, I’ve been doing that even before the days Transmedia was folded into Liberty Sports. But it’s always been interesting to me to see how success can sometimes beget success, especially when looking at sports dynasties like the Elway or Manning families.

    Fact is, John Elway commands respect from players and peers, something that Josh McDaniels (and Bill Belichick) struggled with during their early days.

  13. Phinjunky1985: Let’s get facts straight, they tried to defer payments to two players, they thought it was within the rules the NFL said it wasn’t, Denver paid the price…twice. Although the second time was just for show, the NFL took away their 3rd round choice and then for some reason gave them a 3rd round compensatory pick that they didn’t deserve….too bad Shanahan wasted that pick on Maurice Clarett.

    Now as for those two players leaving during free agency, the two players were John Elway and Terrell Davis, if you think either was going to leave Denver as a free agent you are wrong!

  14. 52crabcakes: That’s really weird just today in the Denver Post Elway was quoted as saying “I really do not like 52crabcakes, I hope he fails at life” guess the hatred between you two runs deep!

    Go Broncos!

  15. Maybe he’s working on the Penske file all day?

    Although he chose the big office, not the small one, unlike Costanza.

  16. Elway is by far the Greatest QB of all time. I make the argument not only because of his stats and winning record, and his 4th quarter comebacks, but because of Montana, Marino, Favre were all kicked off their teams. The Broncos would have loved to have Elway back to make it 3 in a row.

    As far as being a great front office guy, is it yet to be seen, but I have total faith in him restoring the Broncos. The man is the ultimate competitor, loves to win, hates to lose and it WILL translate to W’s on the field. Bronco fans just have to be patient and not get mad if it does not happen right away. This team has been stripped of basically everything and needs fan support to overcome.

    With the draft, hopefully they get Peterson in the first, maybe trade down to #4 and pick up another 2nd. Address the deep talent on the defensive line in the second and use one of those 2nds to get Christian Ponder at QB. This kid looks great.

  17. When I first heard Elway was getting this job I laughed… All I could think of was Matt Millen and how well that worked out.

    I’m starting to see things a bit different now. Elway always was a great competitor and never settled. Matt Millen was a guy who didn’t even live in Detroit, just flew in when he felt like it.

    If Elway is dedicated (and he seems to be) and if the organization is willing to stick with him (he’s gonna make mistakes – it’s all new to him) then there’s a good shot this might work out.

  18. If you guys had any idea what you were talking about, you never would have compared Elway’s situation to Marino’s in the first place. Elway’s dad worked as both a college coach and a pro scout– he knew exactly what he was getting into in advance. This was a guy taking over the family business, not a retired jock just looking to extent the glory years. Huge difference. We’ll see whether he succeeds or fails, but anyone that ever watched Elway play should have understood that he is far too competitive to half-ass anything he committs to.

  19. Yeah, Elway running the Bronco’s is about as silly as a lawyer thinking he can run a website about football.

  20. “”and he’s working as hard as he would have been if he’d worked his way into the job via years in lower-level NFL positions.””

    If you are wondering why this website seems so negative on Elway, buried deep in the article is that little line which basically spells it out for you. Not saying Elway is definitely going to be a great team President, but I wonder if they do realize that Elway is a guy who played in the league for 18 years. Its not like he was just sitting around coaching high school until his daddy gave him a job on the staff. Speaking of which, I wonder why this website doesn’t seem as outraged about how many coaches sons are currently assistants in the league, who only got their jobs because their daddies were great coaches or are the coach currently.

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