|Elway related to Manning the best|
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
John Elway still calling the plays in Denver
As a longtime Denver Broncos fan, you can imagine the amount of Tweets, Facebook messages, texts, emails and phone calls I've been getting since Peyton Manning chose the Mile High city in his version of The Decision.
For me, it's only reinforced the image of John Elway as a legendary, clutch figure, capable of pulling off great feats.
I remember when I first starting watching football around the age of nine. My dad was watching a Broncos game and I was immediately fixated on the number seven jersey. Elway was the perfect mix of guts, leadership, toughness, athletic ability and magic, all rolled into one man. He was the ONLY reason the Broncos got to three Super Bowls in the 80's, before they would win two in the late 90's. He was known for The Drive and so many fourth quarter comebacks, too.
Then John disappeared for a while from the national scene. He immersed himself into his car dealerships and even into the Arena Football League. But you knew he would be back eventually. Leaders like that aren't all that common.
So what has he done as VP of the Broncos? He's taken them to a playoff berth in his first season and signed the most coveted free agent in the history of the league before the start of year two. Incredible.
Some pundits call him horse face, but to me, his battle-tested face is reassuring. He's a guy you just want to follow behind.
I almost interviewed him. It would have been the interview of my career - and life! But it was not to be. His manager nixed the repeated requests, sometimes more polite and than other times.
And so now we turn our attention to the field and the Peyton Manning era. As much as I was pulling for Tim Tebow, I also know that he cannot co-exist on the same roster as Manning. Tebow is a special case, one that involves several concessions in a playbook, concessions Peyton Manning could do without. So Tebowing will move on from Colorado and Elway now turns his attention back to the roster.
Thus far, I have been cautiously optimistic, preferring to see what pieces Elway can attract in order to ensure Peyton has the best chance at protection and success. If John can lure center Jeff Saturday to the fold, Peyton's comfort level instantly jumps a few notches. Ditto for tight end Dallas Clark. The veteran pass-catcher is the ultimate security blanket, so Elway better think of Peyton as Linus and go get his favorite blue fabric.
And that's it. There's nothing left to do now but wonder about Peyton's neck and his pass protection. Oh, and the April draft to some degree as well.
At any rate, the Elway magic is clearly alive and well in Denver. What a nice, reassuring feeling.