Denver Broncos general manager John Elway is going to the Super Bowl for the seventh time this Sunday.
He went five times as a player and this is his second time as an executive. Talking to Denver7, Elway said he is proud of the team he's helped create.
"I’m proud that we’re able to compete and have had good teams since I’ve been back," Elway said.
Elway has been a Broncos executive for five years. He was named Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager on Jan. 5, 2011.
As he gets ready for his seventh Super Bowl, here are seven questions for John Elway.
1. How has he rebuilt the defense since the Broncos last Super Bowl appearance?
"Well, I think that we had the No. 1 offense [two years ago], had a tremendous year. We broke all of those records that year, but we had the opportunity that offseason to get better on the defensive side with (Broncos OLB) DeMarcus (Ware) coming available, (Broncos S) T.J. Ward was out there, (Broncos CB) Aqib (Talib), and then (Broncos S) Darian Stewart this year to be able to add to that side of the ball," Elway said. "Plus, we’ve drafted on the defensive side of the ball, and I think it’s all come together. It’s allowed us, offensively, to try and run the ball a little bit more and take some pressure off the quarterback.”
Speaking of the quarterback...
2. Is this a legacy game for Peyton Manning?
"No, I think his legacy is already set," Elway said. "All it does is add to it, you know? This is not a make-or-break game for Peyton. His legacy is already set. He’s already going to go down as one of the greatest players to ever play the game so if anything, this will do is just add to that legacy."
3. What do you think of how Manning handled this season?
"I think he did a great job," Elway said. "When you get a little bit older and you get up there in age, he had some health issues and he worked through those and was able to come back and get us to this point. Both quarterbacks (Manning and Broncos QB Brock Osweiler) played great for us this year. We wouldn’t be here without Brock and we wouldn’t be here without Peyton. It’s been a great combination of both, and Peyton has done a nice job the last couple weeks of being careful with the ball and not turning it over and making the big plays when he needs to."
4. When the Broncos won the Super Bowl in 1998, Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen said, "This one's for John." Do you want to return the favor?
"It would be very nice," Elway said. "There is no question that it would be nice to do that."
"He [Bowlen] set the standard for us," Elway said. "He’s given us the ability to go out and compete and be their best. He’s a great owner to play for and work for because bottom line, he wants to win and he’s a great competitor. When you have that culture around your building, it allows you to be able to compete for championships. It allows us to be able to get back here. When players come to Denver, they understand what we’re about and the expectations when they come here."
5. What lessons do you still think about from your dad?
"I think it’s about working hard," Elway said. "It’s about spending the quality time to get the job done. That’s what he always worked on. He was always a great worker and a hard worker, and I think that’s kind of what he instilled in me. That and understanding what the team is about and putting the team first when I was young watching him coach."
6. What's it like being back in Santa Clara (where he went to college)?
"I’ll tell you what -- the throwback was that I actually had my first wedding anniversary reception where we’re staying, over there at the Santa Clara Marriott," Elway said. "And actually, we had a draft party over there, too, when I got drafted. We rented a suite over there and watched the draft in ’83 over there with a bunch of Stanford guys."
7. And one more about Peyton Manning. If Manning does retire, what will you miss about Peyton?
"Since he’s been in Denver for four years, he’s been a tremendous person in the community, as well as on the football field for our team," Elway said. "He’s a guy that we’ve won a lot of football games with. The leadership that he’s provided, all those types of things that we’ll miss."