DENVER (CBS4) – There’s one thing fans know about Elway — he works best with the ball in his hands.
Elway made a lot of the shots when the Broncos made some tough cuts last week. He sat right in the middle of the Champ Bailey negotiations, and it’s no secret where he stands in the Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow situation.
Elway the executive isn’t afraid to stand tall in the pocket. He’s doing what he wanted to do since he retired — running the team he led to two Super Bowls. While some questioned just how committed he would be, it’s been evident by how quickly he’s jumped in with both feet.
“It’s something I love doing, it’s in my blood, and so it’s been great. Obviously we’ve had a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time because we were a little bit behind because we didn’t have a head coach at the end of the season,” Elway said. “So we’ve gone through that and got the staff in and got them kind of adjusted to Denver and our players … I’ve enjoyed every step of it so far.”
Elway and Mike Shanahan were a perfect pair when they produced the greatest years in team history. Shanahan knows exactly why Elway was so successful on the field, and he believes that same fire will serve him well as he begins the newest chapter of his life.
“He’s the ultimate competitor. He’s going to do everything he can to make sure the franchise gets back to where it’s been,” Shanahan said. “I really believe he will get it done. He’s a great leader, knows how to delegate responsibility, his dad was a great football coach; he’s learned a lot from him. Just being around the game, studying the game; he’ll know the things that don’t come automatically to him right away.”
If anyone knows Elway as well or even better than Shanahan, it’s his former roommate and backup Gary Kubiak, who is now the head coach for the Houston Texans.
“I just know his passion for the game and on top of that, for the city of Denver and the Broncos,” Kubiak said. “I’m excited for him and I’m excited for the city … I was teasing him. I said, ‘Now I have someone to gripe with on Mondays about what happened on Sunday.’
“To think about what he did for that organization and that city, and now he brings that back after being away for a few years; that’s what Denver is all about. It’s always been about family and the Broncos are one big family and the city loves him.”
Elway has been successful at everything he’s tried — on the field as a player, leading the Colorado Crush to a championship as an owner and executive, and in the business world. But deep down, those who know him and understand him best know he’s exactly where he wants to be, doing exactly what he wants to do.
“I’m really not surprised … I knew he missed football and John gets a chance to get back in the arena and be competitive and try to win a championship another way,” Kubiak said. “I wouldn’t bet against him. I bet he finds a way to do it.”
But for many fans and people who don’t know Elway, he still has a lot to prove.