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NFL: Only Right for Elway to Lead Broncos to Success

On Wednesday, the Denver Broncos named two-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway as Executive Vice President of Football Operations, and appointed Joe Ellis as team President.

The club also confirmed that General Manager Brian Xanders will stay with the team, keeping his current position. Elway will oversee the Broncos head coach and Brian Xanders while assisting in supervision of the club’s football personnel department.

Now all the Broncos are missing is a head coach. But according to Elway, that position should be filled soon as well.

Elway, Xanders, Bowlen and Ellis will interview the candidates, "and we'll come to a consensus," Elway said. "We'll get it done in the next week or two. Brian has done the research over the past 15 years and found that the difference between successful offensive and defensive hires is about 2 percent, so we're not committed one way or the other. We will hire someone who has been a coach in the league or someone who has long been associated with pro football as a coordinator or a strong coach — someone who will feel as strongly about the Broncos as we do."

As well as interviewing Eric Studesville and Mike Mularkey, the Broncos will ask permission to interview Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell (who had been an interim coach in Buffalo) and Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams regarding the team’s head coaching vacancy.

The official Press Release from the Broncos can be seen below


The Denver Broncos on Wednesday named two-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway as Executive Vice President of Football Operations and appointed Joe Ellis as President, Broncos Owner and Chief Executive Officer Pat Bowlen announced.

“John Elway’s leadership, competitiveness and passion for the Denver Broncos will position this team for long-term success through his work leading our football operations,” Bowlen said. “John has won championships as both a player and executive, and his experience will be a valuable addition to this franchise. He is the perfect fit for this role, and I am excited to welcome him back to the Denver Broncos.” Bowlen added, “Having worked with Joe Ellis for 16 years, I have the utmost confidence that he is the right person to lead this entire organization as club president. The expertise he has demonstrated on both team and league initiatives will allow him to thrive with the enormous responsibilities that accompany directing a franchise that means so much to this region and its fans.”

Elway, who set numerous records with the Broncos during his 16-year playing career (1983-98) and led the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush to a World Championship in 2005 as its co-owner/CEO, will direct the Broncos’ football operations in his new role. He will oversee the Broncos’ head coach and General Manager Brian Xanders while assisting in the supervision of the club’s football personnel department.

A Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2004 inductee, Elway will have final authority over the Broncos’ football operations and lead the club’s head coaching search. He will report directly to Bowlen and Ellis on all matters involving football operations.

During his playing career with the Broncos, Elway set an NFL record for Super Bowl appearances (5) by a starting quarterback, including back-to-back World Championships following the 1997-98 seasons. He retired with the most wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history (148-82-1, .643), 47 comeback drives (1st in NFL history), 51,475 passing yards (2nd) and 300 touchdown passes (3rd).

Elway spent the 2010 season as a consultant for the Broncos’ marketing initiatives following eight years as co-owner and chief executive officer of the AFL’s Colorado Crush (2002-09). He ran the club’s day-to-day operations beginning with its founding in June 2002, spearheading its football operations and maintaining a presence in all of its marketing and promotional activities.

Named the AFL’s Executive of the Year in 2003 and elected chairman of its executive committee in ’07, Elway also worked closely with Bowlen, who was a one-third owner, during his time with the Crush.

The Broncos’ chief operating officer for the last three years and a 16-year club employee, Ellis will operate atop the Broncos’ management structure and have ultimate responsibility for the organization as team president. His extensive responsibilities with the club’s business operations will include speaking on all matters involving the franchise.

A driving force in the creation of INVESCO Field at Mile High, Ellis also worked as Vice President of Club Administration and Stadium Management for the National Football League before returning to the Broncos for his second stint with the team in 1998.


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