DENVER (CBS4) – John Elway seems to have forgotten that he was ever a player in the NFL, and that’s a good thing, according to former teammate Tom Nalen.
Nalen, the former Broncos offensive lineman and CBS4 Sports contributor, said on Xfinity Monday Live that Elway has transformed himself into a league executive quite effectively.
“It’s a great thing for the team, because he doesn’t seem to have the heart to feel bad for players,” Nalen said. “It’s a good trait to have when you’re a general manager; you don’t really look at players as your friends or anything.”
Nalen said that over the last two years Elway has “definitely become a general manager.”
“Now he looks at players like they’re a commodity,” Nalen said. “Not as teammates, or a guy that reminds him of a player he played with, which is important because I think he’d make a lot of mistakes if he took that route.”
While overall he praised Elway’s newly found acumen for making pro football roster moves, Nalen was somewhat hesitant of one specific free agency acquisition. He said the signing of Wes Welker definitely hurts arch-rival the Patriots, but he wonders if it will affect the locker room in Denver in a negative way. To be specific, the team in essence no longer needs slot receiver Brandon Stokley.
“Coupled with the fact that Elvis Dumervil might not be here and Chris Kuper might not be here, which is two captains of your team, Brandon Stokley was another guy that was captain-like in the way that he went about his business.”
“You saw him stop the celebration between Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. A few years ago, in 2009, Josh McDaniels’ first year, he catches a pass in Cincinnati and has the intelligence to tightrope the goal line to (get time off the clock).”
Nalen said it’s “phenomenal” that the Broncos were able to get Wes Welker for the price they got him for, but he’s not sure Welker “will have that same impact in the locker room” that Stokely had.
Watch more of the video with Tom Nalen in the Xfinity Monday Live section.