John Elway makes first comments about Broncos acquiring Russell Wilson
The Duke of Denver has spoken.
John Elway, now in a consultant role with the Broncos, doesn’t do regular media availability any more. But on Wednesday he was part of the contingent that announced the PGA Tour and BMW Championship would be coming back to Colorado in 2024, so there was an opportunity for a small group of reporters to chat with him.
The topic on everyone’s mind? Russell Wilson of course.
“We’re excited that he’s in town, there’s no question. He’s kind of the piece that we needed,” Elway said, via Arnie Stapleton of the AP.
Elway searched long and hard for Peyton Manning’s replacement after “The Sheriff” retired in 2016, but could never find the answer. The Broncos had 11 different starting quarterbacks, ranging from rookie bust Paxton Lynch, to veterans Case Keenum, Joe Flacco and Teddy Bridgewater. Nothing seemed to work.
But current GM George Paton was finally able to find the answer Denver desperately needed at QB, and Elway sounds appreciative of that.
“George did a tremendous job of putting that deal together and getting him up here. So, it’s great to see that fan base energized again, and we’ve got a chance to compete in that AFC West, which is obviously going to be tough,” Elway said.
The gauntlet that is the AFC West has been well documented, with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and even Derek Carr in the Broncos’ way of their first division title since 2015. Elway thinks Wilson has the experience necessary to make that goal a reality.
“Like any year, we’ve got to stay healthy, and we’ve had a tough time doing that the last several years,” Elway said. “So, if we can stay healthy, Russell’s been there, he’s won Super Bowls. He knows what it takes and the leadership that he’s providing is tremendous.”
Still, from five straight losing seasons to the top of the division is a big mountain to climb. Especially with so much talent, QB or otherwise, sprinkled around the AFC West.
“It makes it tough, and the thing is they’re young, too, which makes it even tougher,” Elway said. “But it’ll make it exciting for the fans here in Denver and hopefully we can figure out how to make it to the top of the AFC West.”
Elway knows a thing or two about winning as a QB and an executive (he does have three total Super Bowls), but it’s also nice to see him throw his support behind a new regime in charge of day-to-day operations while still offering his services and insight to help the Broncos win.
That’s the task Paton and Wilson now face, with a fanbase starved for another deep postseason run. And eventually another championship parade.