John Elway’s preseason speech fueled Broncos

John Elway

The Denver Broncos 40-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in preseason didn’t mean anything, but it was an eye opener for executive vice president of football operations John Elway.

“John pretty much laid it on us,” said quarterback¬†Peyton Manning, per Andrew Mason of the team’s official website. “He was not happy with that game. It was a butt-kicking, and whether it’s preseason or regular season, he was just sharing his thoughts that that won’t be accepted under his role as kind of the leader of this organization along with (Owner and CEO) Pat Bowlen.”

The Broncos were physically dominated and manhandled in that game.

“I didn’t care if it was preseason or regular season, you never go someplace and play like we played up in Seattle and really not care about that and say, ‘It’s OK,’ because if you’re competitive, and we want to be as good as we want to be, then that attitude does not transcend to any game,” Elway said.

Said Manning: “He talked about what he thought our potential could be and didn’t want to see that wasted. So I think guys got the message. If I was reading it the right way, he might’ve been giving the message to some coaches as well as just the players. Everybody in that room, I think, got the message.”

Elway addressed the team a couple days after the game during a team meeting.

“It was different,” said Manning. “It was not normal for him to be in the front of the team meeting; sometimes he’ll be in the back.”

The Broncos quarterback said it was exactly what the team needed.

“I was taking notes,” Manning said. “A lot of players were taking notes.”

“He just said that it was just not acceptable with that type of game, talking to the entire team — the starters played the first quarter and a half, the second, third and fourth guys — so he was talking to everyone,” he continued. “It was a full-on alert that it’s not an acceptable performance.

“I think it was a challenge, too, that he saw some real potential in this team, he thought it had the makings of a special team and just wanted to be sure we were going to max out.”

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  • Robin Plunder