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Friday, November 12, 2010
John Elway talks up Broncos

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

The struggling Denver Broncos received a rare pep talk from the most iconic name in team history this week.

Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway visited the 2-6 Broncos and told them to persevere. The team has been booed at home and second-year coach Josh McDaniels is not a popular figure in the city. Yet Elway, who is interested in becoming a part owner of the team, told the players to hang in there as they prepared for Sunday’s home game against Kansas City.

“John Elway came in the other day and said something that was very important and a little bit how we were feeling too; it felt like we were pressing to make plays, trying to do a bunch of things that weren’t us,” Denver linebacker Mario Haggan told reporters in Denver on Friday. “He just talked to us and told us about his time and how everybody wanted to run him out of town too (laughing). He was in the same situation and they were 5-11 and the media tried to pack his bags too. He just told us what we believe — that the only thing we need to worry about is who is inside this building and that’s what we’re worrying about right now. (We’re) trying to keep everybody focused and go play the Chiefs.”

I covered Denver since 2004. This is the first time I heard that Elway, who played for Denver from 1983-98, has addressed the team in the past six years. I’m not saying this is the first time Elway has ever addressed the team. I just never heard of it before.

Haggan said Elway’s visit had an impact.

“The guy, he’s everything to this franchise,” Haggan said. “I think he’s probably the most popular guy ever for this franchise and to see him around, to have him talk to us and everybody was at attention -- the respect that he demanded -- everybody got down on a knee and listened to what he had to say. When you have an icon like that around to talk to you, it’s very important and a big deal.”

Elway has saved the Broncos plenty of times in the past. Perhaps he just did it again.