In the fifth episode of Elway Access on Tuesday afternoon, Broncos TV’s Chris Hall talked with Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway.
During the 30-minute podcast, Elway spoke on the team’s Week 5 loss at New England as well as the importance of the upcoming divisional showdown with the San Diego Chargers.
First, the Super Bowl winning quarterback talked about a former teammate of his, safety Steve Atwater. It was announced Tuesday that Atwater has been selected into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
“This is an honor well deserved,” Elway said. “I think if you look at what Steve Atwater did for football, what he did for Colorado and the Broncos, he was really one of the first big, big safeties that came into the league and really revolutionized that position. He really was a force back there.”
But Elway believes Tuesday should be one of several post-career accolades that his former teammate garners.
“We’re hoping this is just the first step for many Halls for him,” he said. “Because he deserves to get into many.”
After Elway reflected on the career of the former Bronco, he reflected on the team’s 31-21 loss on Sunday to the New England Patriots.
Elway said that Denver “didn’t react” well enough to New England’s speed.
“The bottom line is, on third downs we couldn’t get them off the field, and that was the most disappointing thing,” Elway said. “I think even more disappointing was, it was third-and-10-plus, which is usually 20 percent (conversions). Most teams in the NFL make 20 percent. They were four-out-of-five, or 80 percent on third-and-10-plus. So out of everything else that went on, that was probably the most disappointing thing.”
But there’s a silver lining to every cloud. The Patriots were as efficient of an offense as the Broncos will likely see in 2012, and the team now knows what it takes to play at that level. As quickly and effectively as the Patriots moved the ball, Elway hopes to see Denver moving it similarly.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to learn from this game, and also see the urgency with which we need to play the game,” Elway said. “Down in and down out, no matter who we’re playing, at what speed they’re getting in and out of the huddle, or if they’re at the line, our urgency has to match theirs. This is a good lesson or us to look at and say, ‘Our urgency did not match theirs.’ Therefore, as much as you hate losing, it’s important for us to get better from situations where we do lose football games.”
At the end of the podcast, Hall and Elway addressed the team’s Week 6 foe, the San Diego Chargers.
Elway said that Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers will be a “focal point” of the defense, and that the team is well aware of the importance of the game. With a win, Denver will be tied for the divisional lead as it heads into the bye week.
“We know it’s a division game against the Chargers, a team that’s been the team to beat in our division for the last three or four years,” Elway said. “So, hopefully we’re ready for the game and bounce back off this poor performance in New England.”