Elway ready to return to NFL
AP Sports Writer
DENVER (AP) – John Elway is ready to get back into the NFL.
The Hall of Fame quarterback who retired in 1999 after winning his second straight Super Bowl in Denver is planning to attend some of the Broncos’ training camp practices this summer and has agreed to help market the team’s game in London in September.
Elway told the Denver Post recently that he’d also eventually like to own a piece of the Broncos.
After finishing his round at the HealthOne Colorado Open golf tournament on Thursday, Elway said he had no news to report from owner Pat Bowlen regarding his desire to be a co-owner but was eager to help his old team in many ways.
Elway, who carries a handicap of zero and fired an 11-over-par 83 at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club on Thursday, reconnected with the Broncos on the golf course this summer.
He teed off last month with Broncos second-year coach Josh McDaniels and the two discussed ways he could be involved with the franchise again after having very little contact with the team during the latter part of Mike Shanahan’s tenure.
He isn’t doing his famous helicopter dive back into football, just getting his feet wet again.
“I think it’s going to be just a step-by-step type thing as needed,” Elway said. “Kind of be around them a little bit more. Do some stuff on the business side for them with sponsors and stuff, to get a little bit closer to them and slowly work into it and see what they need. If they need advice, then I’m there to give it to them – if they want my advice.”
The Broncos are eager for Elway, who turned 50 in June, to be a part of their future and not just their past. Whether that means Bowlen offers him a piece of the team is uncertain.
Elway said he wanted a clean break from football when he retired. He learned the business side of the sport as one of the owners of Denver’s Arena League team before that league folded.
“When I first retired I wanted to get away. I had been in football my whole life. My dad was a coach so I wanted to get away from football,” Elway said. “And then when I wanted to get back in, that’s why I did the Arena League, to learn the business side of it, be on that side and get some experience.”
Elway said he’s eager to step back into pro football, especially now that McDaniels is entering his second season in Denver.
“I think that now is the time. Last year I think would have been tough with the transition to what they were going through and so maybe now is the time to start,” Elway said. “Timing may be a lot better now in their minds than it was a while back.”
And it certainly is in Elway’s mind.
“I’m finally at the point of my life to where I guess I’m starting to just enjoy life a little bit instead of charging ahead. Everything I’ve ever done, I’ve always charged and now I’m in a pretty good spot,” Elway said. “I’m back in the car business. I’ve got three dealerships in California and they’re doing fine now. I’m taking the foot off the pedal a little bit and kind of smelling the roses a little bit.”
Elway said he thinks Tim Tebow, the most intriguing pro prospect since Michael Vick, will do just fine in the NFL as he makes the transition from combination college quarterback to prototypical pocket passer.
“I haven’t worked with him. I saw him in practice and obviously saw him when he played. I think they are focusing too much on his release. As long as he can get it out in a timely manner, I think he has plenty of arm there,” Elway said.
Elway said Tebow is in the perfect place to begin his pro career because of McDaniels’ experience working with quarterbacks, but he said fans are going to need plenty of patience.
Tebow attended his birthday party, Elway said, but the two didn’t talk football. They will soon.
Elway also praised the way incumbent Kyle Orton has handled the offseason that saw not only the drafting of Tebow but the trade for Brady Quinn.
“I think he’s done a heck of a job of handling the whole situation, accepting them and realizing that he has to compete and win football games. That’s how you keep your job,” Elway said. “I look for Kyle to have a good year.”
Elway said he hasn’t been around the Broncos enough but said eight to 10 wins would be a successful season for the team that beefed up its defensive front but also lost Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Marshall.