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Old 03-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
Bronco Rob
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Default Elway's confidence, control brings swagger back to Broncos

Elway's confidence, control brings swagger back to Broncos



By Albert Breer NFL Network NFL Network ReporterUpdated: March 22, 2012 at 04:06 p.m.




DENVER -- Fourteen months ago, amid skepticism over a hire that looked like somebody sticking a shiny hood ornament on a beat-up Fiat, Denver Broncos president Joe Ellis told me that his new executive vice president of football operations, John Elway, carried a "clear vision of where we need to go."

Back then, that vision was blurred by the disastrous autumn of 2010 that the once-proud franchise had endured.

This week, it couldn't have been clearer. In a Tuesday press conference, followed by a Wednesday night trade of Tim Tebow, Elway ushered in the next step in restoring what he built in the 1980s and '90s as a player. At the press conference, Elway was joined by coach John Fox, GM Brian Xanders and owner Pat Bowlen, all wearing a bright orange tie and the kind of grin that shouts, "Yeah, that's right, we pulled it off." And next to them, another famous quarterback: Peyton Manning.

Careful to credit all involved, Fox conceded, "No doubt, (Elway's presence) was huge," in landing Manning. And Fox expounded on why: "John's understanding of what it means to be a great quarterback, his involvement, the position he's in to help make Peyton's career here a success."

This is what, in a short amount of time, Elway has created in Denver. It's a franchise that's confident, co****re, unafraid to aim high, capable of landing the biggest name in the game and trading the most polarizing. There are obvious reasons why Manning chose Denver. There's one less apparent, though, that had to run through the quarterback's head. The Broncos didn't come off as desperate, knowing they were going to win either way. That's something any player wants in on.

"For any team in the National Football League not to want to get involved with Peyton Manning would be crazy," Fox told me. "With what he's done, what he's accomplished, we're just thrilled to death he chose us."

The word "need" never came into play, even if internally there was that feeling. In Tennessee, there was intense anxiety to get Manning, thanks to a strong edict from owner Bud Adams to his football folks. In Arizona, there was a deadline, in the form of a due date for Kevin Kolb's option bonus. In Miami, well, there was everything short of the bearded lady on Manning's carnival ride back to his South Beach residence after the Colts press conference.

In Denver, there was an organization that was a) moving in lockstep, b) borderline cocky about its direction and c) creating the kind of football-centric environment that Manning relishes.

In fact, if there was ever a reason not to pursue Manning, it may have been, at least from the outside looking in, not to screw up a good thing. With rising young talents like Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Clady, J.D. Walton and Von Miller to build around, there was something to lose here. It's easy to reason that falling short in the Manning pursuit may have hurt a locker room that rallied around the infectiously energetic Tebow. That is, unless, falling short wasn't an option.

When I asked Elway whether or not the risk was a consideration, he was succinct.

"It wasn't," the Hall of Famer told me. "I don't ever go into making a decision by planning on failing. I'm a guy who looks on the positive side and thinks what this can do for us, rather than what would happen if it doesn't happen. It's always been my attitude. I'm not gonna look at the negative side. We'd deal with that, if that were to happen, but I never thought [not landing Manning] was going to happen."

Instead, Elway focused on the details -- something "figureheads" don't do -- during the process. Yes, he was all-in on Manning. But he also couldn't go to Bowlen and sign off on him unless he was comfortable with the quarterback's rehab. He'd given Bowlen his word on that.

So in Durham, N.C., last Friday, Elway observed as the Broncos' doctors and trainers poked and prodded the soon-to-be 36-year-old Manning. And rather than unwinding after a hectic day on Bowlen's private plane that night, Elway spent the two-and-a-half-hour ride back to Denver going over all the particulars with the team's traveling medical personnel.

As for the time Elway actually had with Manning, his research was thorough enough to free up Elway to connect with the ex-Colt in a way few others on the planet could.

"(All this) was a shock for him," Elway said of the courtship process. "So when he came in for the visit, I took more of the friend tact and said, 'Take your time. You don't need to be in a hurry for anyone else but Peyton Manning. And you need to do the right thing for Peyton Manning.' That's why we tried to remain patient."

Now that it's over, Elway explains that Manning's presence adds a "confidence" to the organization.

But it sure seems like what was already in place was as big a part of this decision for this particular player as what might be ahead. A flexible offensive system run by Mike McCoy. A veteran-friendly head coach in Fox. A football executive who's been in his shoes. And everyone on the same page.

Amazing enough that it was just last January when Bowlen felt compelled to blow up his model and reset the culture. The change has taken so quickly that this offseason, the owner's edict has been different: He wants not a good 2012, but a great one. And it's born out in these blockbuster moves.

"I think (Bowlen) had been through a lot of good years of late," Elway said. "Last year was a good year. They'd struggled the two years before, but before that they'd had some good years. He wanted to get back to the great years. And that's the one thing that stuck in my mind, was what Pat said when Peyton came free, 'I want a great year.' My thought was, 'Well, there's one guy who can make us great and that's Peyton Manning.' "

For very obvious reasons -- and reflective of the grand-slam hire Elway has been for Denver -- they indeed got their man.



http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d...ack-to-broncos
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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How the rest of the season goes remains to be seen, but he's already got us back in the playoffs and nabbed the biggest free agent in twenty years. Suffice to say Elway should be getting more credit as a front office guy.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:08 PM   #3
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Signing for a guy with four neck surgeries and trading away a winner like TT takes some balls for sure. Knew Elway had some big ones but he better hope Manning doesn't go down or he and the Broncos are ****ed, regardless of whether he needs a dump truck to carry his balls around.

The other teams involved didn't have much to lose by taking Manning as far as QBs go. We MAY have traded away our future.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kaylore View Post
How the rest of the season goes remains to be seen, but he's already got us back in the playoffs and nabbed the biggest free agent in twenty years. Suffice to say Elway should be getting more credit as a front office guy.
He's getting credit for getting this team back to respectability, and also for bringing in Manning. However, what makes front offices successful is their drafting. Outside of Von Miller, the jury is still out on this FO.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetmeck View Post
Signing for a guy with four neck surgeries and trading away a winner like TT takes some balls for sure. Knew Elway had some big ones but he better hope Manning doesn't go down or he and the Broncos are ****ed, regardless of whether he needs a dump truck to carry his balls around.

The other teams involved didn't have much to lose by taking Manning as far as QBs go. We MAY have traded away our future.
I think you're wrong. If you trade away "your future" and a 7th, you get more than a 4th and a 6th. I liked the rollercoaster last year as much as the next guy, but as I said on more than one occassion as I watched Tebow miss open receivers..."dude can't throw".
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 24champ View Post
He's getting credit for getting this team back to respectability, and also for bringing in Manning. However, what makes front offices successful is their drafting. Outside of Von Miller, the jury is still out on this FO.
The long term success is something we can not judge yet, but there is hope now in Denver and we are on the map for all the right football reasons now - something that hasn't happened in a long time.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetmeck View Post
Signing for a guy with four neck surgeries and trading away a winner like TT takes some balls for sure. Knew Elway had some big ones but he better hope Manning doesn't go down or he and the Broncos are ****ed, regardless of whether he needs a dump truck to carry his balls around.

The other teams involved didn't have much to lose by taking Manning as far as QBs go. We MAY have traded away our future.
I couldn't disagree more. NFL personnel are united in the opinion that Tebow cannot be the starting QB for a franchise. If he could, why wouldn't they trade for him for more than a 4th round pick? Cutler was a franchise guy and we got a 1st and a 3rd!

We had everything to lose by not going after Manning. Tebow is not going to be an effective, every down stater in the NFL.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:37 PM   #8
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I hate hearing about teams with "swagger" and I pray the Broncos never have it. The Eagles had plenty of it last year -- how'd that work out? Or for the Miami Heat?

Broncos, stay humble and keep your heads down, please.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:02 PM   #9
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Well, we'll see.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Ya Elway grabbed a can't miss LB with the second over all pick and convinced a once great QB with health question marks to come and play for a guaranteed 18 million dollars.

We'll see how this all works out. I am encouraged though.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:10 PM   #11
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If drug suspensions, DUI's, and attempted rapes are part of "swagger" I'll pass.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jetmeck View Post
Signing for a guy with four neck surgeries and trading away a winner like TT takes some balls for sure. Knew Elway had some big ones but he better hope Manning doesn't go down or he and the Broncos are ****ed, regardless of whether he needs a dump truck to carry his balls around.

The other teams involved didn't have much to lose by taking Manning as far as QBs go. We MAY have traded away our future.
Tebow was never the future.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:27 PM   #13
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Elway knows how to win. Getting Manning was huge. Spending over $100m in free agency is a gamble...let's hope it pays off!
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:27 PM   #14
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I hate hearing about teams with "swagger" and I pray the Broncos never have it. The Eagles had plenty of it last year -- how'd that work out? Or for the Miami Heat?

Broncos, stay humble and keep your heads down, please.
You know who has swagger? The Patriots. The Eagles and Jets have bravado, and that's a very different thing.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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Yep drafting well is big key esp in 25-32 range next few years.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #16
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The long term success is something we can not judge yet, but there is hope now in Denver and we are on the map for all the right football reasons now - something that hasn't happened in a long time.


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Old 03-24-2012, 04:32 PM   #17
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How the rest of the season goes remains to be seen, but he's already got us back in the playoffs and nabbed the biggest free agent in twenty years. Suffice to say Elway should be getting more credit as a front office guy.
Tim Tebow dragged this team back to the playoffs, if it was up to Elway, we'd have rolled to another 4-12 with Kyle ****ing Orton. I like most of the moves they've done this off season, but it remains to be seen if we can build a perpetual winner like Pittsburgh, Baltimore or New England.

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Old 03-24-2012, 04:37 PM   #18
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When I asked Elway whether or not the risk was a consideration, he was succinct.

"It wasn't," the Hall of Famer told me. "I don't ever go into making a decision by planning on failing. I'm a guy who looks on the positive side and thinks what this can do for us, rather than what would happen if it doesn't happen. It's always been my attitude. I'm not gonna look at the negative side. We'd deal with that, if that were to happen, but I never thought [not landing Manning] was going to happen."
This quote should be saved for next month when this board will be inudated with pussies posting that the Broncos should trade down because they're afraid the Broncos could draft a bust in the 1st round.

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Old 03-24-2012, 04:41 PM   #19
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Ya Elway grabbed a can't miss LB with the second over all pick and convinced a once great QB with health question marks to come and play for a guaranteed 18 million dollars.
Stop trying to re-write history. Everyone said that Denver should draft Dareus, and if they didn't draft MD, they should draft Peterson. No one thought the Broncos should draft Miller. So let's stop trying to pretend that Miller was always the consensus #2 pick, or the guy that everyone in the world thought (and knew) Denver was going to draft.

And a **** ton of people, both in the media and on this site, thought it was a terrible pick at the time because they didn't Von could succeed in a 4-3.

That pick is all on Elway and Fox taking a chance and not playing it safe.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:56 PM   #20
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Stop trying to re-write history. Everyone said that Denver should draft Dareus, and if they didn't draft MD, they should draft Peterson. No one thought the Broncos should draft Miller. So let's stop trying to pretend that Miller was always the consensus #2 pick, or the guy that everyone in the world thought (and knew) Denver was going to draft.

And a **** ton of people, both in the media and on this site, thought it was a terrible pick at the time because they didn't Von could succeed in a 4-3.

That pick is all on Elway and Fox taking a chance and not playing it safe.
And you got all of that out of "can't miss LB"

any one of those choices you mention would have looked good for the Broncos

I wanted Peterson would I be a genius for that choose?

My point is it would have been hard to mess that pick up last year.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:06 PM   #21
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If drug suspensions, DUI's, and attempted rapes are part of "swagger" I'll pass.
Yeah but at least he dumped the most polarizing figure.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:09 PM   #22
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Tim Tebow dragged this team back to the playoffs, if it was up to Elway, we'd have rolled to another 4-12 with Kyle ****ing Orton. I like most of the moves they've done this off season, but it remains to be seen if we can build a perpetual winner like Pittsburgh, Baltimore or New England.
Signing Manning and going "win now" the second year of their supposed rebuilding efforts all but precludes building a perpetual winner. Is this not obvious to people?
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:11 PM   #23
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Yeah but at least he dumped the most polarizing figure.
Yeah, Tebow was polarizing for simply not setting his feet correctly all the time when he threw and his "fans." Sure.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:19 PM   #24
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Yeah, Tebow was polarizing for simply not setting his feet correctly all the time when he threw and his "fans." Sure.
He's now the most polarizing figure on a team of ex cons, deadbeat dads, statutory rapists, and a fat guy who sucks toes.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:20 PM   #25
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Signing for a guy with four neck surgeries and trading away a winner like TT takes some balls for sure. .
Elway was smart enough to know that Tebow's luck would run out. It did he lost 4 of last 5 games and big in a couple of them. His streak was very similar to Orton's 6 in a row to start his first year here.
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