Feb 10, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel speaks during a press conference at Baptist Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mike McDaniel is all in on his new gig as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, and he has even turned his back on some of his childhood heroes to prove it.
McDaniel was born and raised in Colorado. Naturally, he grew up a Denver Broncos fan. Two of the best NFL quarterbacks of McDaniel’s childhood were John Elway and Dan Marino. Many fans have debated which is the better of the two, and Elway was always the easy answer for McDaniel. He joked on Sunday that he recently had to completely change allegiances.
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, who grew up in Colorado as a Broncos fan: "My whole childhood, I was was saying Elway was better than Marino. Now, magically, I've reversed course."
Both Elway and Marino are Hall of Famers. Marino has significantly better stats, but the big knock on him is that he never won a Super Bowl. Elway has two rings. You really can’t go wrong choosing either.
Of course, McDaniel will probably always feel a sense of connection to Elway and the Broncos. That is only natural. The big difference is that he can no longer admit it, at least while he’s the head coach in Miami.
John Elway no longer has a formal front office role with the Denver Broncos, but he is remaining associated with the organization.
Elway had taken over as team president and GM in 2011, and his contract ran through the 2021 season. Elway had stepped back as GM last season, and has now officially relinquished his post as team president. However, according to Mike Klis of 9 News, Elway has agreed to a new role as outside consultant to general manager George Paton.
Elway’s role, for now, appears fairly informal. Part of that is because of the Broncos’ uncertain ownership situation. Elway clearly wants to be involved, but as of now, the bidding process is still ongoing.
Elway guided Denver to a Super Bowl as president and GM, which is why plenty would be eager to see his ownership bid succeed. For now, he appears set to remain at a safe distance while that process plays itself out.
The Denver Broncos were one of three teams mentioned in the lawsuit filed by Brian Flores on Tuesday, and John Elway is the latest executive to deliver a strong response.
Flores claims in his lawsuit that the Broncos conducted a “sham” interview with him for their head coaching job in 2019. Flores says Elway and Broncos CEO Joe Ellis showed up an hour late to the interview looking “completely disheveled” and that “it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before.” The Broncos hired Vic Fangio, and Flores insists he was never considered as a legitimate candidate.
Elway issued a lengthy statement on Thursday in which he called the allegations from Flores “false and defamatory.” The Hall of Famer, who has since stepped away from day-to-day operations in Denver, says he and other Broncos executives enjoyed their three-and-a-half hour interview with Flores, whom they considered a legitimate candidate.
“For Brian to make an assumption about my appearance and state of mind early that morning was subjective, hurtful and just plain wrong,” Elway said, via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. “If I appeared ‘disheveled,’ as he claimed, it was because we had flown in during the middle of the night — immediately following another interview in Denver — and were going on a few hours of sleep to meet the only window provided to us.
“I interviewed Brian in good faith, giving him the same consideration and opportunity as every other candidate for our head coaching position in 2019.”
The long-rumored scenario of two Denver Broncos Super Bowl winners bidding against each other for control of the team could be coming to fruition.
A new report Tuesday suggested that the sale of the Broncos could proceed in the near future and would attract widespread interest. Woody Paige of the Denver Gazette cited sources telling him six candidates would be involved, with John Elway and Peyton Manning both taking part in the process within rival groups.
With Bowlen-Kaiser lawsuit over, Broncos Joe Ellis will announce plan for new ownership quickly. According to my sources, six candidates to bid. Peyton Manning and John Elway will be in two different groups. Another Colorado-based group is doing the research for bid.
While the Elway and Manning names will carry heavy weight, they are unlikely to be a decisive factor. We don’t know what the ownership groups will look like, who else will be involved, or who will bid most aggressively for the franchise. The two former quarterbacks rivaling each other for a stake in the franchise would be a fascinating scenario, though.
As speculation grows about the possible sale of the Denver Broncos, there are some very intriguing rumors about parties that may be interested in buying the team.
According to Mike Klis of 9News, former Broncos quarterback and current team president John Elway has interest in joining a potential ownership group to buy the team if it is sold. Elway is said to be making “necessary preparations” in the event that the opportunity opens up.
Broncos CEO Joe Ellis has said no determination will be made on the team’s ownership until after the season. The franchise is currently held in trust under the name of Pat Bowlen, who died in 2019.
One of the team’s backups, Jeff Driskel, tested positive for COVID-19 a day after spending time at the practice facility with the team’s other quarterbacks. The NFL ruled quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles ineligible for the team’s game because they were deemed close contacts of Driskel.
Rather than push the team’s game against the New Orleans Saints back a few days until the other quarterbacks were cleared, the NFL forced Denver to play that Sunday as originally scheduled.
John Elway, who was the Broncos’ general manager at the time, says he hung up on the league office out of frustration over the situation.
“I got a little mad about that,” Elway recalled to NFL.com’s Mike Silver. “Well, I hung up on the league office. I said, ‘Dawn, I’m sorry: I’ve had enough of this, and I’m hanging up.’ At least I did it respectfully.”
Elway also shared that Saints GM Mickey Loomis was willing to delay the game by a few days. That didn’t matter to the NFL, which made the Broncos play. Elway felt like the league unfairly made an example out of Denver.
The Denver Broncos have been viewed as one of the most likely suitors for Aaron Rodgers should the Green Bay Packers decide to trade the star quarterback. John Elway would probably love to make that a reality, and it sounds like he and Rodgers have hung out at least one time in a very friendly setting this offseason.
Elway, the president of football operations for the Broncos, reportedly played golf with Rodgers in California recently. CBS 4 in Denver’s Romi Bean said on the DNVR Denver Broncos podcast this week that she confirmed with two sources that Elway and Rodgers spent time together both on and off the course.
“I know for a fact they were playing golf together in California,” Bean said, as transcribed by Egotastic Sports. “I know that has happened even though that’s tampering or whatever, but how else does John Elway woo guys but on the golf course.
“I actually have this story corroborated on two different sides which is pretty wild. One is from someone in the golf world who booked the rounds, which is verified. And the other end by chance I had a friend whose friends were playing at this club that weekend and John and Aaron came up and played poker with them, so corroborated on two sides and no one is talking about that.”
Elway was the general manager who recruited Manning to Denver when Peyton was returning from neck surgeries that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. Manning played the final four seasons of his career with the Broncos. He led the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2013 and was an All-Pro in his first two seasons with the team. Then in his final season, the team won the Super Bowl.
The Broncos have won three Super Bowls in franchise history. Elway won two and Manning won the other. It’s nice to see Elway show that great respect to his Canton peer.
John Elway’s announcement on Monday could be bad news for Drew Lock.
Elway announced that he was giving up his duties as the general manager for the Denver Broncos. He will still be involved in the team’s front office, but the GM will be the decision-maker.
So why is that bad for Lock?
As 9News’ Mike Klis pointed out, nobody with the Broncos had more faith in Lock than Elway.
I'm not saying Elway leaving GM post is bad news for Drew Lock. I am saying no one inside Broncos headquarters had more faith in Lock than Elway. We'll see how it shakes out but for every Bronco football employee, today's shake was seismic. #9sports
As long as Elway was there, Lock would have every opportunity to prove himself. Without that Elway protection, Lock’s future is in question. The new GM wouldn’t have the same ties to Lock and could easily part ways with him.
Lock would have to take a major step forward next season to convince a team he might be a franchise QB. The 24-year-old passed for 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions this season.
“Put it this way, Peyton has not called,” Elway told Mike Klis of 9News. “A lot of people have called but Peyton has not called.”
If Manning wanted in, this would probably be a great job to take. He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos. Plus, Elway would be around as both an experienced sounding board and as someone who went from playing quarterback to running a franchise.
For now, Manning seems content to pick and choose his involvement with NFL teams. That may never change, but we just don’t know, because the iconic quarterback has always been pretty quiet about his ultimate post-playing ambitions.