ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- As a Hall of Fame quarterback, John Elway had plenty of go-for-it moments in his playing career. Now as the Denver Broncos' chief football executive, Elway has seen plenty of those moments thanks to offensive coordinator Adam Gase's aggressive style.
"I wish I could have played for him," Elway said. "I think that he's so bright and he's working with Peyton and having been here with Josh [McDaniels] before that -- who is a very bright, young offensive mind -- he has just used all of that and learned from all that. With McCoy here, then Peyton here and now him on his own, he's been able to put them all together and mold it as his personality and I think he's done a tremendous job. That shows up in the numbers we've put up this year."
In Gase's first year as the team's playcaller and in Peyton Manning's second year behind center for the Broncos, the Broncos set a single-season record with 606 points, while Manning also set single-season records with 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns.
In last Sunday's 24-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers, Manning was 25-of-36 passing for 230 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos, with the Chargers having already scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, converted a third-and-17 and a third-and-6 during their final possession as the Broncos were able to use up the final 3 minutes, 51 seconds of the game.
"It was a great call, a great throw. Peyton got the pressure and Julius made a great catch too," Elway said. " … I'm one that the difference between my losses and my wins in Super Bowls are the ones that are charging and not retreating," Elway said. "And if we're going ahead and we're making it and we're trying to win on offense rather than retreating on the other side so I was glad late in the game, even after the third-and-17, we were able to throw the ball and get some more first downs. Championships aren't given to you, you've got to go win it and that's on both sides of the ball."
Gase, who has a year remaining on his current contract, also drew praise from Elway for the way Gase has dealt with interest from other teams for head-coaching positions. The Cleveland Browns and the Minnesota Vikings each requested permission to interview Gase, but Gase told both teams he would not interview until the Broncos' season was over even though by league rules he could have interviewed earlier this month.
The Vikings have hired Mike Zimmer while the Browns' job remains open.
"I felt like I was all-in for what we were doing here," Gase said after Thursday's practice.
Asked Thursday if he thought the Broncos could keep Gase, Elway said;
"You know, I don't know. I hope so. He's done a tremendous job. He's had a great year and he's just got such a great feel, and he's a hard worker and he's very bright. I hope he stays but -- I thought it was, to me, I couldn't think for him to be able to do what he did and to say 'I want to keep my focus on the Denver Broncos and once our season is over I'll interview.' To me that was studly because it was to me, I like guys that are committed to what they're doing, committed to the Denver Broncos. So I couldn't be more proud of that decision. It tells you a lot about the guy."