John Elway is 'dug in'

April, 19, 2013
4/19/13
3:30
PM ET
For those wondering if John Elway’s role as the Denver Broncos’ executive vice president of football operations is a short-term endeavor, stop.

Denver president Joe Ellis said the legendary quarterback, who is entering his third season as the team’s top football decision-maker, is not going anywhere.

“He’s dug in,” Ellis told reporters Friday. “I went up and visited the draft meetings just to see the interaction and see how they were working in the room. They’re in there early in the morning until early evening with a lot of conversation. John’s listening, hearing everybody out. There’s good dialogue between he and Coach Fox, back and forth, some of the assistant coaches, some of the personnel people. I run out of gas after about an hour and a half -- my attention span isn’t quite as good as theirs when it comes to analyzing players over and over. But they’re doing a lot of hard work. I don’t see him wavering with that at all. I think he’s very good about delegating and listening, but also strong enough and confident enough in his knowledge and his opinions to have the courage of his convictions and make good decisions on behalf of the organization, as I said, short-term and long-term. I believe he’s going to be here for a while.”

Elway has been widely considered a smashing success since taking over as a rookie decision-maker two years ago. Denver has won the AFC West title in both of Elway’s years with the team, and he is the primary reason why Peyton Manning signed with the team last year. Ellis said he has no doubts about Elway.

"Somebody asked me, ‘Are you surprised at how well he’s doing?’ My answer to that would be I’m surprised that people are surprised that he’s doing that well, because he brings a lot to the table. He brings leadership, competitive fire -- he’s one of the most competitive guys you know -- wants to win in the worst way, a lot of intelligence, knowledge, and he brings an outside business perspective to it, which is very, very rare. He’s fully vested in the organization and the community. He understands all about the fans and how much this team means to them. He’s disciplined. It’s very, very noticeable in meeting with him and talking with him. He sticks to his plan. He stays disciplined. Teams get in trouble in this league when they sway from their plan and sway from what is their discipline. I know Pat (Bowlen) feels very, very confident that John will not do that. We’re lucky to have him here.”

In another AFC West note:

Quarterback coach Steve Clarkson is working with Oakland backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor in addition to Tim Tebow. Clarkson told the San Francisco Chronicle that he thinks Pryor can develop into a quality NFL player.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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