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Monday, January 16, 2012
Notes from Denver's news conference

By Bill Williamson

Denver Broncos vice president John Elway, general manager Brian Xanders and coach John Fox held a postseason news conference Monday. In addition to the team committing to Tim Tebow as its quarterback heading into training camp, here are some other key subjects that were discussed:

On whether the team’s commitment to Tebow as the starter affects draft plans

Elway: “Right now, as we look at it, we have two quarterbacks under contract. So, we have to, obviously, be in the market to find some more quarterbacks. Whether it be through free agency or in the draft, we’ll look at both of those options.”

My take: I could see Denver being interested in re-signing Brady Quinn to back up Tebow. Quinn may look for a chance to compete elsewhere and if he doesn’t come back, Denver will likely look for a reliable veteran and maybe draft a quarterback prospect in the late rounds.

On improvement from last season

Elway: “Really, to me, a lot of the credit goes to this guy sitting to my right, John Fox. I think he did a tremendous job. Brian [Xanders] and I talked about it a lot when we were evaluating coaches last year is really the bottom line what needed a lot last year was we needed these guys to enjoy football again. We kind of called it a football rehab, and I think the mentality, the enthusiasm, the type of coach that John is really got the most of the guys that we have. To me, that’s really the true identity and quality of a great coach is to be able to draw that out of football players. That’s why so much of this credit goes to John, because he was able to pull everything he could out of the players and the team that we have. I can’t say enough about John and the job that he did this year.”

My take: It is clear the Denver brass is thrilled with its progress this season and it feels like it is just the beginning of the team’s resurgence.

On the team’s budget

Xanders: “We have our own internal budget given by the owner. We are going to stick to that budget, and we plan to be aggressive and smart at the same time and try to get some good signings in here, some valued signings that help contribute to wins. We also have to address signing our own unrestricted free agents that are free, and we also have the free agency market. So we will have a plan for that. We have a long-term vision, too.”

My take: Denver will make some moves in free agency. It made its share of moves last year. But the days of Denver taking big free-agent chances as they did in the Mike Shanahan era are behind us. Expect Denver to pursue players at problem areas, but don’t expect it to spend money just to spend it.