Talking with John Elway
February, 24, 2012
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- Denver Broncos football leader John Elway addressed the media on Friday. Let’s look at some of the highlights:
Elway said he hasn’t figured out what style of quarterback the team will bring in to compete with/back up Tim Tebow.
“We have to kind of let it happen,” Elway said. “I don’t know that we’re looking for one like Tim or your ordinary drop-back [passer], or somewhere in between. I think until we find out the interest out there, it’s going to be hard to fill those spots. I think when I look at Tim and I look at our offense, we can do it with either one. Whether it be a guy like Tim, or if it’s more of a drop-back-type guy, we feel like either one is going to be able to fit.”
As Denver coach John Fox did Thursday, Elway supported Tebow, whom the team wants to be the starter this season.
“We’re hoping that he’s going to be the guy for a long, long time,” Elway said.
Elway indicated that the team isn’t necessarily wanting Tebow to make huge adjustments, but he must become a better passer in the pocket.
“I don’t know that you look at it as becoming more conventional,” Elway said. “I think there are things that we have to get him to do within our offense to be more successful as an offense. Obviously, we look at what we did last year and Tim’s strengths are. ... There is no question he can run the football; he is a big guy and physical, and he likes to run it. ... I think [offensive coordinator] Mike McCoy and the offensive staff did a tremendous job trying to play to Tim’s strengths. I think we will continue to do that, but we also want to see strides in Tim and his ability to get better at throwing the football downfield from in the pocket. We just feel that’s something we have to do to get better as an offense -- to be able to add that threat there, it makes everything else he does that much better.”
Elway said he hasn’t talked to safety Brian Dawkins about his future. Dawkins, 38, is considering retirement.
Elway praised Fox for “changing the culture” in Denver, and he said he is confident the Broncos will continue to move forward in the future. Denver was 6-22 in its 28 games before Fox took over last season.
Elway acknowledged that the team needs to get better at defensive tackle. The team has the No. 25 pick in the draft and could look at the position with the pick. The Broncos also want to retain defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, a free agent. Elway also said kicker Matt Prater, a free agent, is a high priority. Either player could be given the franchise tag by the March 5 deadline.
Elway on the Raiders hiring Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as head coach: “I’m happy for him. I’m sad that he’s in Oakland -- that we have to play him twice a year in our division."