John Elway: Russell Wilson the piece Broncos needed to return to Super Bowl
from Zac Wassink, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Denver Broncos legend John Elway first began serving as the club’s general manager and chief football czar in January 2011 but, per Jeff Legwold of ESPN, reduced his role to president of football operations after the 2020 campaign.
Elway now serves as an outside consultant to general manager George Paton and is clearly a fan of Paton’s decision to acquire one-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.
“We’re excited that he’s in town, there’s no question. He’s kind of the piece that we needed,” Elway told reporters on Wednesday, according to Arnie Stapleton of The Associated Press (h/t St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “We had a good football team around him and I think George did a tremendous job of putting that deal together and getting him here. It’s great to see the fan base energized again.
“We’ve got a chance to compete in the AFC West, which obviously is going to be tough. But again like anything we’ve got to stay healthy. We’ve had a tough time doing that the last several years. If we can stay healthy, Russ has been there. He’s won Super Bowls. He knows what it takes, and the leadership he’s provided has been tremendous.”
The Broncos haven’t qualified for the postseason tournament since they defeated the Carolina Panthers to win Super Bowl 50 with Peyton Manning under center. However, Elway isn’t the only person to notice things are already improved with Wilson inside the building.
Wide receiver Courtland Sutton said last month that “the juice is just different” with the nine-time Pro Bowl selection atop the depth chart, and cornerback Patrick Surtain later noted that merely having Wilson has changed the franchise’s culture.
It sure sounds as if those associated with the Broncos would be disappointed with anything less than a deep playoff run in January.