ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — John Elway does have a boss.
It may be surprising a guy has to answer to a superior when he has been chiefly responsible, either as a quarterback or general manager, in leading the Broncos to seven of their eight Super Bowl appearances and all three of their world championships.
But it’s true. The one person inside the Broncos’ who is in charge of evaluating Elway’s job performance is Joe Ellis, the team’s chief executive officer and president.
After a historic five-year start to his GM term from 2011-‘15, Elway and the Broncos have gone through a four-year slump. But it does appear Elway has hit on the two most vital components to a successful football team: Head coach and quarterback.
Both Vic Fangio and Drew Lock are only in their second year at their respective helms. Both finished strong last year, bringing hope the Broncos are about to have better days ahead.
So, Joe Ellis. What about Elway?
“I feel like he made a correction,’’ Ellis said in a sit-down interview with 9NEWS on Tuesday. “He made some mistakes, we all do. That’s what this business is. We’ve made some corrections and brought in some real good players, I believe, to help us out through the draft and this year in free agency.
“I’m excited about the young talent on the offensive side we now have. Excited about Drew Lock, the young receivers, the running backs. The tight ends. (Offensive line coach) Mike Munchak has another year with his group.
“I’ve said for two years I hope we get a lot better on offense and now I believe we will get a lot better on offense.’’
Elway, like Ellis, has his contract run through March 2022 so they have this season and next to return the Broncos to their once-usual playoff ways.
“Vic’s done a good job with the defense, we’ve shored up a couple positions there,’’ Ellis said. “I’m optimistic about the team, I really am. And I credit John for revamping the roster a little bit. I feel like we’re on the right track.
“This year is going to be odd with the way games are conducted and how we conduct ourselves away from the field with COVID and everything else. I think that plays into a competitive advantage if your team can stay healthy and be prepared to play each and every game. And not have any sickness or illness run through parts of the building or a position group or things like that.
“I am excited to watch us play. I wish we could have played a couple preseason games on Channel 9 but weren’t able to do that and I think we’ll come out of the gate with a lot of people being curious and excited about our team in 2020.”
Yes, but can the Broncos beat the Chiefs? They haven’t since early in 2015.
“Chiefs are the world champs so everyone’s chasing them, right?’’ Ellis said. “They bring a lot of players back. It will be a tall order but you never know. You never know what happens over the course of a season. That’s the agenda, that’s the goal is to get that division title and see where you go.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how we do. I’m looking forward to playing the Chiefs and everybody else on our schedule. It’ll be fun.”
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