SBD/January 3, 2011/Franchises

Broncos Set To Formally Hire Elway As VP/Football Operations

Elway Will Have Oversight Of Broncos' Football Operations, Including GM Xanders

The Broncos are "expected to call a news conference" for Wednesday to formally announce the hiring of John Elway as VP/Football Operations, according to Mike Klis of the DENVER POST. Elway will "have an upstairs office" at the Broncos' team complex, and will "show up every day." Broncos GM Brian Xanders will report to Elway, whose new title is the "same one Mike Shanahan carried on top of his head coaching position." Elway last Friday on his radio show said, "Hopefully, we get something done (this week). We'll get that all settled. There is a process that has to be followed." Broncos COO Joe Ellis said, "It is not a PR move. That would be a waste of John's time and our time and the fans' time. Because we need to win. He'll roll up his sleeves and do his job. I've had enough meetings with him to know that." Klis noted Elway is "not rejoining the organization with the idea of extending a glad hand." The hiring is "not an image-enhancing tactic, even if it is a nice byproduct for an organization that could use a shot or two of integrity after the unfortunate Josh McDaniels' era" (DENVER POST, 1/2). ESPN's Adam Schefter cited league sources as saying that "one of Elway's first orders of business as a Broncos executive will be to discuss Denver's head-coach opening with Stanford's Jim Harbaugh." A Stanford alum, Elway is an honorary captain for the team's Discover Orange Bowl game against Virginia Tech (ESPN.com, 1/2).

WILL IT WORK? YAHOO SPORTS' Doug Farrar noted it "may not be a traditionally successful transition, but the Broncos could do worse." For every front-office hiring like Matt Millen running the Lions, "there's an Ozzie Newsome," the Pro Football HOFer who has "run the Baltimore Ravens for years and has done so as well as any personnel executive." Farrar: "Who's to say that Elway couldn't make the same leap?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/2). But in Phoenix, Bob Young writes under the header, "History Shows John Elway Might Struggle To Build Denver Broncos." It is hard for "great players to be great coaches," and it "might be even more difficult for former star players to build a team." It is a job that "not only requires the ability to spot talent but recognize how the parts will fit together" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/3). In Denver, Dave Krieger writes under the header, "Elway's Iconic Status At Risk." Krieger: "In success or failure, front-office executives are seldom beloved in the way players are. For Elway, that's the price of getting back in the game" (DENVER POST, 1/2).

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