John Elway gets extension, new title from Broncos

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Elway has said he doesn’t want to just win now, but from “now on,” and how backup quarterback Brock Osweiler performs whenever Manning retires will go a long way in determining whether Elway’s long-term vision will pan out as well as his short-term fixes have.

The Broncos ended a six-year playoff drought in 2011 when they went 8-8 with Tim Tebow at quarterback, beating Pittsburgh in the playoffs before losing to New England.

Elway lured Manning to Denver that spring and traded away Tebow the next day.

“Tim Tebow was so popular, John Elway is the only one who could have pulled that off,” wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said.

The Broncos went 13-3 in 2012 but a crushing loss to Baltimore in the playoffs left a scar that drove them to another 13-3 season last year. This time, they beat San Diego and New England in the playoffs to reach their first Super Bowl since Elway was leading them from the huddle.

Elway has made more than 600 transactions since rejoining the Broncos, and he acknowledged some difficult decisions await as he shapes the roster for 2014.

Although the Broncos came up way short in the Super Bowl, Elway promised to navigate this offseason with the notion that this loss will drive Denver to do something no team has done since Buffalo in 1993 — reach the Super Bowl the year after losing it.

“The bottom line is we’re going to work as hard as we worked this year, if not harder, and continue to do that with the mindset that we want to be world champions,” Elway said, “and we’re going to do everything we can to get there.”

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