- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay comments
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
Elway puts it on the line again in latest comeback
Question of the Day
ENGLEWOOD, COLO. (AP) - He could have stayed on the sideline. Instead, John Elway wanted back in the game.
The king of the comeback is directing his latest rally from the Denver Broncos executive offices. Just two years ago, the franchise was dissolving into irrelevance or, maybe even worse, a side show. But now, the Hall of Fame quarterback is turning the Broncos into winners again.
The centerpiece of the turnaround, of course, was the signing of Peyton Manning.
A decision that seemed, to some, like a risk when Elway made it is looking better with each game. And while ol’ No. 7 refuses to look too far ahead, he does concede that, yes, things are going well _ and that he knows he put his reputation on the line when signing a 36-year-old quarterback with a surgically repaired neck.
“By no means was it a slam dunk,” Elway said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But we knew after we did our homework and looked at the situation, it was the best thing for us. We were willing to take that risk. There’s always risk to it, but we liked our chances.”
The Broncos carry a four-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against San Diego. They are 6-3 and a win away from taking a three-game lead in the AFC West. Manning is on pace for a 4,800-yard, 37-touchdown season, though it’s the strength of the supporting cast Elway helped put in place that made the quarterback-turned-executive feel good about going after a future Hall of Fame quarterback on the back end of his career.
One of Elway’s most memorable quotes from the day the Broncos made it official with Manning was that he didn’t have a “Plan B” if Manning got hurt or didn’t return to his former effectiveness. The issue, the only issue, as Elway sees things, is to win Super Bowls, and the possibility of Manning at 100 percent could get the Broncos there quickest.
It’s a focus that got drowned out in Denver over successive years of turmoil starting with the end of the Mike Shanahan era, continuing with the hiring of Josh McDaniels and concluding with Tim Tebow’s tumultuous stint as Broncos quarterback.
“I think true Bronco fans understand what our goal is,” said Elway, who spoke to AP while promoting the Dove Men+Care “Journey to Comfort” campaign. “They’ve had a taste of what a Super Bowl is, back in `97 and `98. I think with where we are right now, the fan base is extremely excited because of what they see with Peyton. There were always high expectations when Mike was here. Those couple of years when it hit the bottom, it makes it that much more exciting now.”
But he didn’t leave his passion for the game behind.
After all, he was the man who could do no wrong in Denver, the man who simply couldn’t be replaced _ not by Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Jay Cutler, Tebow. The man who became the face of the city, suffered the Super Bowl heartbreaks, then won the titles, all the while directing dozens of dramatic, game-winning drives (40, to be precise, a record Manning now holds with 48) was putting his reputation back out on the line.
“But ultimately, this is what I wanted to do again,” he said. “I like the competitive side of it. The fact that you’re graded, week in and week out. And that there’s a big carrot at the end of the road if you do things right. That’s the Super Bowl. The fact that I could do it in Denver made it even more special.”
So far, almost every high-profile move he has made since he arrived and assumed the title of executive vice president of football operations in January 2011 has improved the team.
_Choosing Von Miller with the second pick in the 2011 draft wasn’t a huge risk, though with 10 sacks this season, Miller is, at the very least, living up to his billing.
_Willis McGahee, Brandon Stokley, Trindon Holliday _ all have been brought in by Elway, who has also made significant progress in cleaning up Denver’s bloated salary cap.
“But you looked at this building when I got here and everyone was so demoralized,” Elway said. “One thing that stuck with me was John’s positive attitude. He was outgoing, friendly, positive. To me, that was the No. 1 characteristic. He was someone who could get this organization rehabilitated, get everyone excited about playing football again.”
“Everyone wants to look at the strength of his arm, but one thing they sometimes overlook is that he’s tremendously accurate,” Elway said. “He throws a very catchable ball. The accuracy part is not given enough credit.”
Much has been made of the intrinsic quarterback-to-quarterback connection between Elway, the last quarterback to bring a Super Bowl to the Broncos, and Manning, who was brought to Denver to be the next one.
“But there was, no question, a down side. It wasn’t unanimous” around the league, Elway said. “I guess because I was the one sitting in the chair who had to openly make that decision, it was going to fall in my lap. I knew that. And I knew there were a lot of people out there who said `No way,’ who have probably changed their mind by now.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Sen. Max Baucus: Obamas choice for China ambassador
- Obama's own panel rips NSA spying on phone calls of Americans
- President gets budget win -- but only by staying out of negotiations
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
News and views on the Civil War.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow