Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Elway puts it on the line again in latest comeback

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — 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.”

When Elway retired after the 1999 Super Bowl, nobody would have held it against him had he left football forever.

But he didn’t leave his passion for the game behind.

Yet as much as signing Manning — along with the corresponding move of jettisoning Tebow — the real risk the 52-year-old took was involving himself with the Broncos again at all.

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.

Elway had car dealerships and other business enterprises, even the Arena Football League team.

“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.

—Hiring John Fox, a coach with a 73-71 career record, was not considered a slam-dunk choice. Elway concedes he didn’t know Fox that well.

“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.”

By setting aside conventional wisdom, Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy retooled their offense in 2011 and built a team that made the playoffs with Tebow at quarterback.

Now, with Manning, the coaching staff has re-created itself again. They are building around Manning, who has paid back the favor by becoming the NFL’s top-rated quarterback through nine games.

“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.

Elway says there were never any questions about Manning’s work ethic and, at least from the Broncos perspective, the health issue was resolved.

“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.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Delta barriers no longer needed

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Supervisors voice concern on state Delta plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Dental clinic coming Friday, Saturday

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Rotarians talk about running clinic to help Haitians

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District eyes new auditor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
County honors Purple Heart recipients

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Solano recognizes 1,300-strong volunteer corps

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Garamendi to host open house at Fairfield office

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Highway 12 night work scheduled in Delta

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Kids fishing derby in Fairfield is part of Earth Day

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
County approves Icon agreements

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9

Ceremony set to break ground for Suisun City Walmart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9, 24 Comments | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. opening with free drinks

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9, 11 Comments

 
Museum readies to host Sallie Fox Day in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Golf tournament to raise funds for children

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Mustangs and More event moved back to October

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

Rotary club to host clay shooting derby

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A11

 
Ghost Walk returns to Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A11

 
NAMI talk on reducing mental health stigma

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
.

US / World

In Internet TV case, justices show concern

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

GOP candidate releases education policy overview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Biden: Russia must ‘stop talking and start acting’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Most Sherpas decide to leave Everest for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Jet stowaway at hospital; security issues linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
SKorea ferry toll hits 146 as search gets tougher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
In Ukraine’s east, mayor held hostage by insurgent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoons for April 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 

Groundwater becomes next big California fight

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Fairfield’s main problem is the mayor

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 7 Comments

.

Living

Solving and resolving life’s problems

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
 
A healthy take on the very not healthy Scotch egg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Horoscopes for April 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
How can I get my 12-year-old grandson to sleep in his own bed?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

DeGeneres making design series for HGTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

5 Fairfield runners finish Boston Marathon

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Prep swimming update: Postseason looms on horizon

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
SCC softball ends regular season with 29 straight wins

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors’ Curry eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Spurs’ Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders begin offseason workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL playoff game to air on ESPN for 1st time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Djokovic: Wrist better, will try to play in Madrid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pujols’ 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Beverly Hanson, forgotten pioneer in women’s golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors announce new plans for SF arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: N.Y. Giants’ Hill facing 3rd suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA Playoffs: Raptors even series with Nets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Novartis reshapes business with GSK, Lilly deals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AT&T had strong 1Q on wireless installment plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Richard P. Horn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Kyong Hee Maxwell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Norma O’Regan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7