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Thursday, March 31, 2011
Hitting the airwaves with John Elway

By Bill Williamson

New Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway has proved to be a good quote in the first few months in his new role.

Denver’s legendary quarterback always has something interesting to say. That was the case in a recent radio interview. Here are some topics that stands out:

John Elway
John Elway says Denver's interest in the draft's top quarterbacks is "not a smokescreen."
On the team’s offense:
"Offensive line wise, we’ve got some good players there -- you know, [Ryan] Clady coming off that knee injury and not having the year that he did the year before but still was a great player; and J.D. Walton and [Zane] Beadles who were rookies last year that played every down and played well, and they’re just going to get better; and we got [Chris] Kuper at right guard who’s a dominant guard. So offensively we feel pretty good. Obviously it hurts us to lose Demaryius Thomas to that Achilles injury but we’re hoping to get him back maybe halfway through the season."

My take: Two things stand out. The target for Thomas to return is now midseason. Previously, there was hope he’d return earlier. So, the Broncos are clearly going to have to deal with losing Thomas for a significant part of the season. Also, Elway didn’t mention Ryan Harris, who may be a restricted free agent. It could be an oversight or it could be another sign that Denver is not enamored with Harris.

On the Broncos' draft philosophy:
“Well I think we have to look at that when we get there. I think you always want to get the best player available. But obviously in our situation where we do have some holes, we’ll have to look at that awfully strongly. What we want to do is we want to get a very good base here. Obviously that’s not going to happen in one year, but we’ve got some holes to fill. But we’re not going to get back away and get just an average player if there’s a great player on the board just to fill a need. So we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but I think that the more great players you can get on the team, the better off you’ll be, and they’re going to make everybody else better. Whether it be talent athletically or leadership-wise.”

My take: It makes me think Elway may be leaning toward taking a defensive tackle at No. 2, because it is a great need, but that he is also open to trading the pick to fill multiple needs.

On why the Broncos are looking so heavily at this year’s crop of quarterbacks:
“Well the bottom line is at that position, everybody realizes how important that position is. And anytime you have the draft position we have -- second in the draft -- you have to look at everybody. And we’re looking at every position, not only the quarterback position, but that seems to get the most attention because of what we have here. But obviously if there’s a guy there that’s a franchise guy there, we definitely have to look at it because we’re not sure we have a franchise guy on our team right now. So obviously we’ve got to visit that, look at it, and do our due diligence on it and then we’ll make our decision from there. But no, it’s not a smokescreen. We realize -- and I realize -- how important that position is, and if there’s a franchise guy there that we know is a franchise guy, we’d have to look at it.”

My take: The Broncos are doing their due diligence. Still, their interest in the position is intriguing.