Mark Schlereth: No reason to trust John Elway to fix the Broncos

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One of John Elway’s former Broncos teammates thinks Elway doesn’t have what it takes to lead the team back to the top.

Mark Schlereth, who blocked for Elway in both of his Super Bowl-winning seasons as the Broncos’ quarterback, believes that Elway has made one good move in his time running the Broncos — convincing Peyton Manning to sign in Denver as a free agent — and has otherwise been a failure.

“Do I trust him to fix what’s gone wrong? No. I mean, how did he fix it in the first place? He found himself a unicorn, Peyton Manning,” Schlereth said on FS1. “Peyton Manning makes up for a multitude of sins. All the quarterbacks he’s gotten after don’t.”

Schlereth said Elway has built a roster lacking in depth and talent, and he singled out left tackle Garrett Bolles, whom Elway drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, as a player who’s only on the roster because Elway can’t admit he was wrong to pick him. Schlereth said that Bolles is playing so poorly, the rest of the team resents it.

“You think you can continue to run him out and not every guy in that locker room’s pissed off? Why is he on this team? Why is he playing?” Schlereth said. “Because he was my first-round pick and I’m going to prove I got it right.”

Those are harsh words, but it’s hard to disagree with Schlereth’s point. The Broncos still haven’t made the playoffs since Manning retired, and Elway is showing no evidence that he knows how to get them back to the postseason.

69 responses to “Mark Schlereth: No reason to trust John Elway to fix the Broncos

  1. No keep Elway forever! – This is karma for those two stolen SBs wherein Donkos overspent the $54m cap by $29m, got caught but overspent another $29m – and caught again. And not just cash but also many contract manipulations deemed against NFL rules. All to help their perennial prime-time flop to retire with two SBs – stolen from teams playing within the rules.

  2. After mentioning that it’s some made up “National Tight End Day” during the 49ers/Panthers broadcast 79.5 times, I question his ability to make coherent comments.

  3. But who is going to fire him? No one. As a fan base, we can only hope that he leaves his ego at the door for once and steps down entirely or only chooses to relinquish his job as a GM and just stay president of football ops

  4. No else does either. Besides the Bronco’s fans who are still high from the super bowl win. Its pretty obvious too everyone else that Peyton Manning built that team (meaning people came to play for peyton, not saying he was the gm) Everything Elways has done has turned into crap. Besides a couple guys that fell his way in the first round chubb and miller, what else has he done? just draft bust after bust.

  5. I don’t have a Donkey in this race.

    Question- how does the mess with the ownership structure impact the ability for the Bronco organization to move on?

  6. Elway has been terrible so far at finding a QB and has missed on some premium picks that have hurt the team. That being said, to suggest the only thing he did right was to sign Manning ignores the fact that SB 50 was won primarily by the defense. Since Elway has been running the show, he has consistently put out a good to great defense. He also seems to have hit with Sutton, Risner, Lindsay and even Freeman looks like a good pick at this point.

    A change a LT is desperately needed and if they want to try to find value in Bolles I think a position change to G is needed. The guy can’t block in space without holding, maybe kicking him inside where that is needed as much will help him. He seems to have a good attitude but just is not cut out to play LT in the NFL.

  7. It’s been awful player selection, but don’t forget John Fox, Vance Joseph, Gary Kubiak and Vic Fangio as “saviors” from the Head Coaching box. Add decision-making ineptitude to bad drafting and you get orange crushed.

  8. Stink should be cut out the Broncos family now. Elway is involved in every winning season the Broncos have ever had. This team got old and now he is trying to rebuild it. Sure he missed on some picks when they were drafting in late 20’s and 30, but he has had some solid drafts as well. He did draft Von who is the Franchise. No Christmas Card for Stink is coming from Elway this year. He should shut, and quite trying to make a name off Elway.

  9. I’m surprised to see Schlereth being so candid and honest about Elway’s feats as a GM. He’s not wrong though. Aside from the Peyton Manning thing it’s been one disaster at QB after another. Trading for Flacco was one of the dumbest things one could do and I’m sure the rest of the league laughed at him for signing an over-the-hill has-been who can only throw jump balls.

    If what he says about Bolles is true then maybe they need to convince him to step down. If he’s just going to live off his past give him a ceremonial title and let someone else run the team.

  10. Elway doesn’t have to be fired, just hire a GM to run the football operations and he can be the poster boy he is in Denver.

    Don’t give me this he was 3 super bowls. 2 where as a player and 1 was with a roster full of talent he didn’t draft. As a GM he has been downright awful. His draft picks don’t stick in the league and he wiffs on 1st rounders unless they are a top 5 pick which a child could have made.

  11. We all know Elway was never qualified to hold the highest position in player personnel. Tell us something we DONT know. He was given a multi million dollar job he had no qualifications for. Just because you played the game doesn’t qualify you to be a GM. That’s why scouts work for 20 plus years learning the nuances before they ever become a GM

  12. streetyson says:
    October 30, 2019 at 10:58 am
    No keep Elway forever! – This is karma for those two stolen SBs wherein Donkos overspent the $54m cap by $29m, got caught but overspent another $29m – and caught again. And not just cash but also many contract manipulations deemed against NFL rules. All to help their perennial prime-time flop to retire with two SBs – stolen from teams playing within the rules
    ++++++++++++++++
    Out of all the NFL fans you would think patriot fans would be the most understanding of breaking rules but yet here you are.

  13. He has had about 8 QB and is still searching for a franchise QB. If you can’t evaluate the very positioned you played for many years, how can you convince us you can evaluate other positions???

  14. ktoast says:
    October 30, 2019 at 11:06 am
    John Elway brings Denver 3 Superbowls and everyone is mad at him

    15 38 Rate This

    ——————

    Nope. Proven cap cheating did.

    1995, 1996 and 1997. Three years in a row proves a pattern of deception cooking the books

    cheaters

  15. Their o-line has been bad since Peyton retired. They draft a QB almost every year but their starting line for the first game this year featured TWO guys who had went undrafted. They literally just throw bodies out there an hope.

    And how exactly did they wind up with no experienced backup behind Flacco? The Browns are a very beatable team but much less so when you’re starting a guy who has never thrown a pass in the NFL. Even if Drew Lock wasn’t on IR they’d STILL have been faced with starting somebody who’d never appeared in an NFL game before.

  16. “John Elway brings Denver 3 Superbowls and everyone is mad at him”

    How many did he win in the decade+ without Mike Shanahan? How have they looked since Peyton Manning retired?

    He drafted Brock Osweiler
    He drafted Paxton Lynch
    He used a first rounder on Bolles
    He traded for a broke down Joe Flacco
    He chose Vance Joseph over Kyle Shanahan because he wanted a true “leader of men.”

    How have all of those decisions worked out for him?

  17. Does anyone really think that Elway is the one doing the research to make these picks? He’s been busy drinking, and slowly morphing into Gary Busey. Matt Russell is the one running the personnel, and Joe Ellis is in the background lighting this dumpster fire. Elway needs to slip into the background, and hire someone who’s competent for talent evaluation. Ellis is just hiding from a change in ownership because he knows he’s out the door.

  18. I’m not an Elway or Broncos fan, but you have to admit he did put together a pretty good defense for a while. The Super Bowl they won was because of the defense, not Manning. And they might still be a decent team, if Kubiak hadn’t left.

  19. About time someone in Denver was willing to say The Emperor Has No Clothes! Sheesh. He has shown zero ability to select a QB. I’m not a donkeys fan, so I’m ok with it. I just can’t believe it took this long for someone to publicly call him out!

  20. You people who talk about Denver’s supposed salary cap violations in the late-90’s are idiots. Bowlen basically took money from the banks of Elway and Terrell Davis. He deferred payments because he needed cash on hand to pay for the new stadium. It turned out to be a violation because you can only defer so much money (a provision put in the CBA to protect against bad owners). It was an accounting error, and the accountants were fired.

    If you want to talk about cap cheaters from the 90’s, what about San Francisco? What they were doing was way worse.

    Also, Schlereth is right on. The Elway defenders need to get a life.

  21. Surprised no one is mentioning the Broncos’ college scouts. Elway has final say, but he’s no scout and my guess is, he’s just a “yes man” to his scouting staff, and goes by what they tell him. While he definitely deserves blame, it’s obvious that his entire college scouting staff across the country, is garbage.

  22. I remember in the 2017 draft there was disagreement about Bolles and Ramczyk. Bolles went 10 picks higher.

  23. I like what D-Mack says on local radio here:

    “Anyone not named John Elway would have been fired already”

  24. The way things are going, fans may start throwing stuff at Elway’s statue outside the stadium as they come and go.

  25. didnt elway build that defense that won that superbowl with manning on it? Manning was not great that year..

  26. Listening to Schlereth on the radio every morning is the best. Only guy on there who isn’t a total fanboi. The things he’s said about Bolles are absolute gold. He sounds personally offended that Bolles plays.

  27. Granted, Elway’s drafts haven’t been great, he’s done a very good job bringing in free agents.

    Drafted: Von Miller (2011 1st), Derek Wolfe (2012 2nd), Malik Jackson (2012 5th), Danny Trevathan (2012 6th), Matt Paradis (2014 6th).

    Signed: Chris Harris (UDFA 2011), Peyton Manning (2012), Emmanuel Sanders (2014), Aqib Talib (2014), Demarcus Ware (2014), Shaq Barrett (UDFA 2014), Philip Lindsay (UDFA 2018).

    Elway is very much responsible for building the 2013 afc championship team that was carried by PM and the 2015 super bowl team that won with a limited PM. Kudos for that. However, the main thing that jumps out – no one of serious contribution has been added to the roster since 2014, and Elway’s search for a competent franchise QB has been fruitless over the past several years.

  28. Umm, Elway got them to 5 SB’s as a player & 2 as a GM, winning one. yet he’s terrible? Is that accurate?

  29. Bizarreslantpass says:
    October 30, 2019 at 11:33 am
    Does anyone really think that Elway is the one doing the research to make these picks? He’s been busy drinking, and slowly morphing into Gary Busey.
    —————
    That’s a good line right there!

  30. Lets do the math.

    Since Elway took over 9 years ago:

    Broncos went to 2 Super Bowls
    Patriots have gone to 5.

    So in 9 years there have only been 4 afc teams to go to Super Bowls. Broncos have been to 2.

    I would say he is doing way batter than 95% of all the other teams in the AFC

  31. A well known independent grading service actually has Bolles as okay. Not great but low-end starter. Those services aren’t gospel of course but let’s have some perspective. Good LTs are hard to find. It’s more than likely anyone else they throw in there won’t do much better. Not unreasonable to see a young guy you invested a high pick in a longer leash to try to improve.

  32. Gonna be hard to muster the nerve to fire a local legend. Bruce Allen would have been fired by now if not for his father’s legacy.

  33. Elway has the Wallace smile from Wallace and Gromit. Wallace wouldn’t be very good at running the Broncos either.

  34. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    October 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Elway the player was great…Elway the football executive is awful. Once the ownership control is figured out he’ll be gone…..could take years though.
    ————————————————————————————-

    ding ding ding.

    finally someone mentions it. Do you suppose his stake in ownership has something to do with seemingly having to answer to no one.

  35. Unless you’re the Patriots who just know what the heck they’re doing. They have the GOAT Tom Brady, but he doesn’t light it up or have the arm talent like Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Mathew Stafford, Drew Brees, etc. Pats usually have a couple of great players, but mostly unknown players yet they still win. Those guys just know how.

  36. Not many if any note Elway poached their current line coach and NFL HOF Mike Munchak from the Steelers last year. If Mike cannot improve their OL, it is garbage and needs the full restart via picks and trades.

  37. Manning didn’t get that Superbowl, the defense did. When Broncos were the Manning Score Show they got annihilated in the Superbowl. Heck, in their winning year Brock Oz was the QB more than Manning was. Joe {Flat-foot Flacco even can get a ring with smothering D – which is probably what Elway was thinking when he signed the guy.

  38. “Not many if any note Elway poached their current line coach and NFL HOF Mike Munchak from the Steelers last year. If Mike cannot improve their OL, it is garbage and needs the full restart via picks and trades.”
    _________________

    Fun fact: The league’s top two linemen for holding penalties are both Broncos. LT Garrett Bolles led the league last year is leading the way again this year and G Ron Leary is right on his heels. (Bolles is another Elway first round bust.) Leary was undrafted as was EVERY second team lineman on their depth chart. In short, Munchak doesn’t have much to work with.

  39. All to help their perennial prime-time flop to retire with two SBs – stolen from teams playing within the rules.
    ——————————————————-
    The heartache of knowing that John Elway had more talent in the little finger of his left hand than your favorite quarterback has in his entire body.

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