|01-20-2008, 09:57 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Elway's example easy to follow
All of the 1997 Denver Broncos earned fame when they won Super Bowl XXXII, but none more so than quarterback John Elway.
“Even to this day, when I see him I get like kind of woozy,” said receiver Rod Smith, who holds almost every Broncos receiving record. “Out of respect for him. Every time I see him I get nervous.”
Elway was in his 15th year in 1997, nearing the end of his career. Running back Terrell Davis had taken over as the focal point of the offense. But Elway rallied the 1997 team by his example, which he set during offseason workouts.
Linebacker Keith Burns said he remembered some days seeing Elway sprawled out on the grass after putting himself through a tough workout.
“I knew what he went through in the offseason,” said Burns, who is a special teams assistant for Denver. “We were young, and it was his 11th, 12th, 13th year, and he’s doing what we’re doing when he could be anywhere. He was willing to show guys the way. If you see No. 7 out there, what excuse do you have not to be there?”
Smith is proud of his 100 percent attendance in the Broncos’ offseason workout program during his career. He said Elway was one of the reasons he never missed a day.
“He’s been in this business 14 years and he’s here every day, there’s no way I can have a thought that I can miss,” Smith said. “He’s the most celebrated athlete in this freaking state, how can I even think of missing a day if he doesn’t miss? That’s why he’s great.”
When told that teammates remember his work ethic being an important part of the 1997 championship team, Elway said he worked so hard because he had unfinished business.
“It wasn’t about the Hall of Fame, it was about winning world championships,” Elway said. “We still hadn’t won a world championship, so that was the motivator. It was knowing I was running out of years to get a world championship.”
The idea that the Broncos won the Super Bowl for Elway isn’t quite accurate.
Most will chuckle and say they were trying to win it for themselves, but they were all pleased their leader got his championship, too.
“We had a guy everyone was pulling for, with John,” Burns said. “I don’t think anyone in that locker room wanted to let him down.”
Along with the memories of the offseason workouts, Smith fondly remembered that he and Elway would run down on the scout kickoff team at the start of practice. He said being around Elway for the first few years of his career showed him what he needed to do to be a successful player.
“That was the example,” Smith said. “It was easy for me to follow.”
|01-20-2008, 10:11 AM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2001
I listen to Mike and Mike (ESPN Radio) in the morning on a regular basis during the week and when they start making QB comparisons Elway's name is near the top and seems to be consistently mentioned more then others.
|01-20-2008, 05:42 PM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2003
elway had a chip on his shoulder. even in his 14th year. he had something to prove. we NEED to draft on this factor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|01-21-2008, 01:07 AM||#5|
Join Date: Nov 2005