The playoffs used to be a lot more fun for John Elway, when he had more control over the outcome of the games.
The two-time Super Bowl winner as a player might have more power over the entire football operation, but he said Thursday he doesn’t get to enjoy it as much as he used to.
“It’s very different,” Elway said, via Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “It takes some getting used to. I enjoy watching the regular-season games, but I was absolutely miserable last week watching this game. It took me four hours to get the pit out of my stomach when it was over. It’s not nearly as much fun upstairs as it is down on the field, especially these championship games and the playoffs.
“But I’m also proud of being a part of it. Being able to help put the team together, put the coaches together and the personnel side, for everything to come together. There is more of a quiet pride than it is being a quarterback when everybody is patting you on the back.”
Though the Broncos are in the AFC Championship, it’s still been a trying year for the Broncos executive. From suspensions to star players to injuries, to the summer drunk driving arrests of the top two members of his personnel department — “both of those ruined my summer,” he said — the Broncos have had to overcome plenty.
That part of the job was something he didn’t necessarily anticipate.
“Uh, no,” Elway said. “No. But when you have problems,being a good leader is taking care of those and making sure everyone feels comfortable that when the house is on fire that we go ahead and take care of our business and realize there’s a solution to this and we’ll get through this. I’ve tried to be that rock on the front side, saying we’ll get it covered, we’ll get it handled.”
He inherited a team that went 4-12 the year before, but has molded them into a consistent winner, with three straight division titles. Luring Peyton Manning was another coup, but Elway’s success as an executive is approaching the success he had on the field.
Even if it isn’t as much fun.