DENVER (CBS4) – With Peyton Manning announcing that he wants to come to Denver next season, it was only natural for CBS4 to get former and current Broncos players to be the guests on Xfinity Monday Live! Enter former wide receiver Ed McCaffrey and current defensive end Robert Ayers.
Ayers said when he first heard the news, he was excited.
“Not too often does a team get to get a franchise player and a guy who has accomplished what he has accomplished to come to your team as a free agent,” Ayers said. “It’s definitely a big move, so I’m excited.”
McCaffrey started out the show with a little joke.
“This is the biggest acquisition the Broncos have made since the Bill Musgrave and Ed McCaffrey deal back in 1995,” he said to laughter from the audience.
McCaffrey said people aren’t making the Manning move too big of a deal.
“It’s not very often you get to get one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game,” he said. “If you’re a Denver Broncos fan, you have to be excited. It doesn’t happen very often. John Elway fought very hard for this to happen and Broncos fans have to be excited about the possibilities.”
Ayers is a fellow Tennessee graduate with Manning. He said when Manning would pay the Volunteers a visit while Ayers was on the team, Ayers said he had the same type of demand from the receivers as he did from his current NFL team.
“It was crazy to me to watch. I’m a defensive end and I’m watching and he’s just getting on the receivers like they’re pro receivers, but they’re freshmen in college,” Ayers said. “He expected that much from them and it’s just amazing to me that he drew that much command from young college guys.”
McCaffrey is good friends with Elway and he says Elway deserves the credit for making the deal happen.
“John is about winning Super Bowls — not getting to the playoffs, not getting to the Super Bowl — he’s about winning Super Bowls,” McCaffrey said. “He made the move that he thought would help the Broncos as an organization win a Super Bowl in the next couple of years. That’s why he made this move.”
Ayers said having Manning will make the Broncos’ defense better as well.
“Anytime you get a guy like that who’s going to go out there and 90 percent of the time he’s probably going to get a third down conversion, or he’s going to extend drives; or if you make mistakes he’s going to have your back — that’s the key thing,” Ayers said. “We’re definitely excited about adding him. We know what he brings to the table and we hope that trend that he’s had in the past will continue.”
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Then the matter turned to Tim Tebow — will he stay or will he go? McCaffrey says it’s unlikely he will stay.
“It takes both of the quarterback to be able to co-exist, and it takes somebody to be able to take a back seat, and that would be Tim Tebow. He would not be the starting quarterback,” McCaffrey said. “There could be a Tebow package, he could still be involved and he could learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks that every played the game.”
McCaffrey said if Tebow was willing to do that, then he could co-exist with Manning.
“I think the team would be better. Whether or not that’s actually going to happen, I don’t know.”
So are the Broncos now a Super Bowl contender?
“They’ve got to be. Robert had the best season of his career last year and the defense did well. They spent a lot of time on the field. Peyton Manning was brought here to score points and win a Super Bowl. They’ve got to make a run at it,” McCaffrey said.
“I definitely think we’re going to be competitive and we’re going to be a team to beat,” Ayers said.
– Written by Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com
Watch more of the video with the McCaffrey and Ayers in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.