ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When it comes to formally speaking to the team he runs on a daily basis, Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway picks his spots.
Following Sunday’s 22-point loss against the New England Patriots and with the Broncos halfway into whatever becomes of the season, Elway decided it was one of those spots.
“We took a punch in the mouth, but we’re going to get up and keep fighting,’’ said defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, one of the team’s five captains. “And Elway came in and talked to the team and let us know how he felt about the team midway through the season. He had good things to say, he had bad things to say. Now, we just focus on getting back on track and getting a streak going.’’
Last season Elway’s terse discussion of a preseason loss in Seattle -- he said last season “tirade was too strong’’ -- was a meeting several players credited, even during the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII, credited for hitting the reset button. When Elway recalled the team meeting last year he said it was about getting the Broncos “to have a mindset that want to be world champions.’’
Several players said following the Broncos’ practice on Thursday that Elway took an all-business, good-news, bad-news approach at a time when the Broncos have four AFC West games and five road matches over the final eight weeks of the regular season.
“Like I said, there were good things, there were bad things, we don’t get too high on the good things, we circle the bad things to get better,’’ Knighton said. “He had some good things to say and some bad things to say … He just wanted to make sure we’re doing everything at a championship level.’’
A fixture at Broncos’ practices and around the team’s suburban Denver complex, Elway doesn’t often formally speak to the team, letting the players conduct their day-to-day business with the coaching staff.
In addition to last August’s appearance in the team meeting, the Hall of Fame quarterback also spoke to the team before the group left for the Super Bowl this past January to talk about his experiences as a player in the title game.