With the trade deadline two days away after being extended due to the storms on the east coast, Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway described the mindset of his department.
Elway said that it’s “typical action out there,” but added that if an opportunity is presented for Denver to better itself before the deadline, he and his staff won’t shy away.
“There’s not a whole lot even though the deadline has been pushed back,” he said on Tuesday’s weekly Elway Access podcast. “There are always names that surface. We always look at every situation separately and try to figure out if any of those situations can help us as a football team. We’ll continue to monitor that the next couple days and see if anything happens on Thursday.”
Other topics of discussion during the 30-minute show, hosted by Broncos TV’s Chris Hall, included Elway’s thoughts on the Week 8 win against the Saints, the loss of linebacker Joe Mays and the challenge of the Broncos’ upcoming road tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals
Elway called the 34-14 victory at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday night the “most complete game of the year,” and doled out flattery to each unit as well as several individual performances.
But he was most impressed with the defense’s outing.
“If you look at what the Saints have done earlier this year coming in offensively, they had been playing well,” he said. “We thought it was going to be a track meet and we’d really have to keep up with them. The compliment goes to (Defensive Coordinator) Jack Del Rio, his staff and the defensive players. They really answered the bell. Even before that last drive, (the Saints had) between 160-170 yards. It was really impressive what the defense did.”
Elway and Hall also discussed the Broncos’ most recent roster move, placing linebacker Joe Mays on the Injured Reserve list and calling up safety Duke Ihenacho to the active roster in his place.
The move means that Mays, a fifth-year linebacker and one of the team’s leaders, is out for the year.
“To sit out for the year, it’s always tough to take, personally,” Elway said. “We feel for Joe. We have to step in there. (Linebacker) Steven Johnson has been on the 53(-man roster), kind of the third-team Mike (middle linebacker), and now with Joe going down he’ll have to step in there and back up at the Mike position and be ready to fill those slots.”
The defense will try to take the loss in stride while continuing the progress it has made in 2012. Elway credits the improved play to a better understanding of a new defensive scheme.
“When you start reacting to certain things because they’ve been in the system long enough, rather than thinking about it, they play much better and faster,” he said. “That’s what you’re seeing the defense do. They’re getting much more comfortable with the defense, what the responsibilities are and playing great team defense.”
With consistency a focus, the team can put together a three-game winning streak by replicating the last six quarters of play, dating back to the second half against San Diego.
That won’t be an easy task, however, as the Broncos travel to Cincinnati in Week 9. Coming off of three straight losses followed by a bye week, the Bengals aren’t an opponent that can be taken lightly.
“They’ve lost three in a row, so they know they need to get things turned around,” Elway said. “They’re coming off a bye so they’re going to be well-rested, so we know we’ll have our hands full. It’ll be a test for us to go on the road, more difficult than it is to win in the friendly confines of Sports Authority Field (at Mile High). Hopefully we can start stringing some consistent games together and get some wins on the road.”