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Elway: now or never

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  • Elway: now or never

    It's unfathomable to suggest that Elway's job might be on the line given that he's a franchise icon and two years removed from winning Super Bowl 50. But it's difficult to believe just how much has gone wrong in Denver since the team raised the Lombardi trophy. The Broncos weren't able to come to terms on an extension with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who went to Los Angeles and turned around the Rams' defense overnight. Six of the 11 starters who suited up for the Broncos in the Super Bowl win over the Panthers are no longer on the roster, and the defense regressed and fell from first to 10th in DVOA last season.

    More disconcerting, though, is Elway's inability to improve the offense. He mishandled the C.J. Anderson situation and was forced to match an onerous offer sheet from the Dolphins for what ended up being two years of ordinary play. The efforts to upgrade the offensive line in both the draft and free agency have made little progress; the Broncos are about to cut Menelik Watson despite owing the former Raiders right tackle $5.5 million in guaranteed base salary this season.

    What's most worrisome, though, is how the transition from Peyton Manning has not gone to plan. Elway avoided a landmine when the Broncos were outbid for Brock Osweiler, who went to Houston, but the trade up to grab Paxton Lynch in the first round in 2016 looks to be a misstep. Lynch was awful in 128 pass attempts over two seasons and might not make the roster after slipping behind seventh-rounder Chad Kelly. Now, it will be Case Keenum's turn after the Broncos made a $25 million bet on the former undrafted free agent keeping up his stunning form from Minnesota.

    It's hardly as if Elway was on an island with his decisions, of course. The Texans wanted Osweiler. The Cowboys were furiously upset about the Broncos beating them to the punch in trading up for Lynch, and after the Raiders drafted fellow target Connor Cook, Dallas was forced to settle for Dak Prescott. There wasn't much chatter around Keenum before he signed with the Broncos, but it's not difficult to believe that he would have attracted serious money on a one-year deal if the Broncos had gone in a different direction.

    Part of the equation with Elway, though, has always been the idea that his experience as a player offers an advantage over executives who haven't won games on the field at the highest level. To be fair, Elway has been humble and hasn't expressed that sentiment himself, but this is a league in which both John Dorsey and Dave Gettleman were out of a job at this time last season. If any other general manager pieced together a five-year stretch of first-round picks that included Sylvester Williams, Shane Ray, Lynch and Garett Bolles (and the useful Bradley Roby), wouldn't we be worrying about his future?

    The NFL's 50 most fascinating people: Players, coaches, GMs to watch in 2018

  • #2
    In before Elway homers piss all over this article.

    If this season fails, like 4-12 with blow out type fails, he’s on the hot seat IMO. The chance of this season being a massive fail is lowered by his draft and QB upgrade. Elway IMO had a good offseason this time. It’s “now”.


    • #3
      Seriousl question: Even if Elway fails, who is going to fire him?


      • #4
        This article is pretty terrible. That list of 1st rounders is very good, especially considering draft position and that one is a QB. How many teams get a Von Miller every year?

        And getting CJ for less than Chris Ivory was a coup, as well as a classy move by Elway. The CJ disrespect is insane.


        • #5
          It's crazy when you see **** like this compared to how the media talks about the Patriots, and then realize that the Broncos have been better at basically everything for the last 6+ years.


          • #6
            I think Elway has made mistakes, and has lost good players by lowballing them, or because he felt they would clash with our new coach. But I still think it's a bit unfair to solely blame him.. we've had a goldfish (well several goldfish) for a QB and that wasn't really his fault. There was simply no one in free agency or in the draft (at our draft position) available that would make a difference.

            This year he could have gotten that franchise QB. But he nabbed Keenum and improved the defense again. Well... when we had a stellar, record setting offense we got our butts handed to us in the SB. When we had a stellar defense, we won the SB. So.. I'll trust him on this. =)


            • #7
              Originally posted by qbronco View Post
              Seriousl question: Even if Elway fails, who is going to fire him?
              That's been my underlying concern since the day he was hired. When you hire an iconic legend from the team's past, you run a serious risk that he will be difficult to unload later. In the NFL almost everyone eventually gets fired, and the day will surely come when he will either leave or be pushed out. Overall I think he's done a good job, but he has to prove that he can develop a sustainable long-term philosophy that translates to consistency, and that means winning the draft. Perhaps he has done so this year, hopefully at least.


              • #8
                Can't even seriously talk about this without also including the ownership situation. We won the SB two years ago. That should give Elway a few years of good faith. I think this season is the make it or break it, given Lynch, VJ, Wade, etc. So far, Chubb looks to be a great pick. Who knows, five games from now the Broncos may have the most dominant D in the league and Case may be tearing it up. Wait and see.


                • #9
                  Elway not on the hot seat yet. If the draft class is a bust, which in all likelihood it’s not, and the season goes poorly, yes, the heat would rise. Elways only bugaboo is the poor drafts. Won’t do him in immediately but like Shanahan, issues long term with this will create a perpetual 8-8 cycle and mandate change.


                  • #10
                    l If any other general manager pieced together a five-year stretch of first-round picks that included Sylvester Williams, Shane Ray, Lynch and Garett Bolles (and the useful Bradley Roby), wouldn't we be worrying about his future?[/I]

                    The NFL's 50 most fascinating people: Players, coaches, GMs to watch in 2018

                    That’s not the question. Gentleman & Dorsey had no where the success that Elway has had as an executive. The question is if any other GM without the name recognition of Elway takes over a 4-12 team laughing stock that was in the absolute bottom of the Pat Bowlen era, and was saddled with QB’s named Orton, Tebow, & Brady Quinn, and then immediately turn it into 5 consecutive division titles, 2 AFCC’s, and a SB win as a big underdog, and have only 1 losing season,
                    would that GM be on such a short lease after his only losing season, as the writer of this article is implying Elway is on? For some reason, I think not.

                    Elway has made mistakes, no doubt about it, and he’s sure to make more. But if anyone would bother to take a look at Elway’s history as a player, businessman, and now GM, they would know he is one of the most competitive guy’s in the room, no matter what it is he is doing. He’s had his failures for sure, the SB blowouts, that!), etc., but he seems to always bounce back, usually in a big way: His back to back SB’s, his auto dealerships, landing Manning, and then of course SB50 when Manning was a shell of himself.

                    Elway promised he will fix this. I take him at his word. Believe me when I tell you he was as embarrassed & angry over last year’s debacle just as much as any of us, maybe more so.

                    If you doubt me on his commitment to bring the Broncos back to contention, just look at the offseason, and then preseason. You see improvement at every major position group except possibly the secondary. And this year’s draft is probably his best, and could very well be that draft that turns a franchise around and defines them for the good. All the assistant coaches that were hired seem to be a big improvement over the guys here last year. The question is at HC. I think VJ will be improved, but I can’t tell you if he has enough to save his job. That remains to be seen. Anyway, Elway’s got this. I don’t know how long it will take to get the team back into contention, but it looks like it’s going the right direction.


                    • #11
                      The list of first round picks is interesting. 4 starters and a bust. Does the author expect every first round pick to be a Von? Is it a successful 1st round selection if they garner a 2nd contract with the team?

                      Weird standard.


                      • #12
                        Win the super and you get a pass for a period, say 4-5 years. It’s been 2. This year will tell us more about the direction of the franchise under Elway.


                        • #13
                          Hot seat...lmao.

                          Shanny got 10 years after his last SB win. No way Elway is in a now or never situation this year. Beyond stupid to think so.


                          • #14
                            We've been to 2 SB's, won 1 of them, went with 2 completely differently constructed teams.
                            His drafting needs to improve but lets be real here...he ain't getting fired, nor should he at present.


                            • #15
                              This year reminds me of the Tebow playoff run year. Division is wide open and while I don’t think Keemun will light the world on fire, he will put us in position to be thought of highly by future fa QBs similar to when Manning came here, with upside for more.