A surgically repaired Peyton Manning became available and Elway put the Broncos in the mix to sign him. Then he moved Denver to the front by finding an instant connection with the veteran quarterback.
“The revisionist history is that, `Oh, anybody could’ve done that,’” Clough said. “I don’t agree that anybody could’ve done that. I think only he could’ve pulled that off the way he did it. He’s the only guy who could’ve withstood the kind of criticism and wrath … for deigning to be at all critical of Tebow.”
Elway’s deft handling of the Manning-Tebow maneuver has, all by itself, made him a top candidate for executive of the year in the NFL. It has also overshadowed other moves that have played big parts in Denver’s quick return to competitiveness. His first move was keeping veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, then a free agent. He also drafted Von Miller, who has 29 1/2 sacks over his first two years.
This season, Elway signed veterans Keith Brooking, Dan Koppen, Trindon Holliday, Brandon Stokley, Jim Leonhard _ all important cogs in a 13-3 team.
These days, the love is back, courtesy of No. 7, of course.
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