Elway Draws Ire For Broncos' Shortcomings Since Super Bowl Win
There are a "lot of eyes" on Broncos President of Football Operations & GM John Elway following the team's 30-6 loss on Thursday to the Chiefs, according to ESPN's Mike Greenberg. The Broncos are 22-33 since winning Super Bowl 50, and Elway, among other things, has "not gotten the quarterback position right" since Peyton Manning retired. ESPN's Louis Riddick said Elway "for some reason ... hasn't been able to identify the kind of traits that he wants and/or put the kind of team around these specific players in order for them to ultimately give him the kind of performance that he wants." ESPN's Jonathan Vilma said Elway has had "issues much bigger than just the quarterback" with only two players drafted since '11 making the Pro Bowl -- TE Julius Thomas and LB Von Miller. Vilma: "John Elway has not done a good job overall." Riddick added it has not just been the "player personnel part of it, it is also the coach selection part of it, the developmental part of it." Greenberg said Elway is the "most beloved athletic figure in the history of that city" and it "becomes very difficult, I'm sure, even for the most ardent fans of the team to criticize him strongly" ("Get Up," ESPN, 10/18). ESPN Radio's Mike Golic Jr. said if the Broncos decide to "burn this thing to the ground," they need to select a young QB and "develop this guy." Golic: "If not, John Elway's legacy is going to start to get even more complicated than it already is" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 10/18).
TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW? NBC's Mike Florio noted other than bringing in Manning, it has been "one mistake after another" for Elway. However, it seems unlikely that anyone is "going to fire John Elway until they hand the keys to the franchise to one of Pat Bowlen's children." Florio added Elway has "some immunity still" ("PFT," NBCSN, 10/18). However, in Denver, Mark Kiszla writes if Brittany Bowlen wants to "return the Broncos to the glory established by her late, great father, her first major move after joining the franchise full-time will be to sit down with Manning and convince him to return to the franchise in a major leadership role." If that "means the end of John Elway's nine-season tenure as the director of football operations, so be it." Kiszla: "It's time to send Elway to the showers and put Manning back in the game" (DENVER POST, 10/18). Barstool's Dan Katz noted Manning was on the sidelines during Chiefs-Broncos Thursday night in his "orange sweater," and added he is "your future, Denver." Katz: "I'm talking about being the President of Football Ops and heading up the entire operation, because this John Elway thing since they've won the Super Bowl -- and of course they won a Super Bowl so you've got to mention it -- it has been real, real bad" ("PFT," NBCSN, 10/18). Denver-based KKFN-FM's Johnny Hart writes "it's time" to move on from Elway, as Thursday's loss was the "tipping point." Whether it is an "emeritus position or complete severing of ties or something else along those lines, it's time for Elway to step away" (1043THEFAN.com, 10/18).