The Broncos are currently in the midst of their OTAs (organized team activities) in preparation for the 2012 season. The Broncos’ mini-camp this week caps the OTAs and will be the team’s final workouts before training camp begins in July.
Leading up to training camp, we’ll bring you some conversations that 850 KOA had with various members of the Broncos. Recently, 850 KOA had the chance to talk with Broncos’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations, John Elway (JE).
850 KOA: Are things quieting down a little before training camp starts?
JE: They are. Now that we’ve got Ty Warren re-done, which we’re excited about, we’re winding down. Mini-camp is (coming up). We had a good 10 OTAs (to) get everybody together, get everybody knowing each other and then finish with the mini-camp. From that point on, the players are done. The coaches and everybody will take some time off and get ready for camp.
850 KOA: The Broncos have been as busy as any team in the NFL over the past three months. You’ve rebuilt your offense. You’ve rebuilt the back end of your defense. Does it feel like you’ve been extraordinarily active?
JE: Yeah, it’s been a busy spring. But any time it’s constructive like we feel like it has been, we’re excited about where we are. You never know what you have until you get out there. Obviously in OTAs we’re just in helmets and we’re not in pads but it’s good to get there and see everybody running around. I mentioned this to Peyton the other day. Defensively, we’re doing a good job. Offensively, we had blitz periods and those types of things and had a tough time getting people open. (I told Peyton) there are two issues here. Either we’re a lot better on the back end, which I think we are, or we’re having a tough time getting open. But it’s been good. We’re real excited about the back end with (Drayton) Florence, Tracy Porter and (Omar) Bolden coming in, Mike Adams at the safety position plus Rahim (Moore) and Quinton Carter, two young safeties we drafted last year. They’ve had a real good spring. It’s exciting to see what we have going on.
850 KOA: As you began to prepare for the 2012 season, when did it sink in to you that you had to do something about the back end of the defense?
JE: When you look at the opportunities we had, especially at the end of last year, we really struggled against teams that spread us out, that went empty (backfield). New England. Detroit killed us early in the year. When they spread us out, we struggled. Tracy (Porter) was out there, we explored a lot of different corners. We were fortunate to land him in free agency.
850 KOA: What did you like most about Tracy Porter?
JE: He’s an athlete and he’s young. He’s got big-play ability and he’s a good cover guy. He can play inside or outside, which is important in the back end. He has that flexibility and he has some youth. We were aging back there. We flirted with Asante Samuel and tried to work something there. Then Drayton Florence came available and we were able to land him. We really liked him last year when he was a free agent and signed a one-year deal with the Bills. We’re excited about the experience and the physicality that he brings. We’ve got the depth back there now. When we got spread out last year, we knew we had to get some more people back there.
850 KOA: This offseason, it looked like you operated under the theme of improving the pass offense and the pass defense. As you were preparing for a role like you have in the NFL, how long have you had that vision that you know what the priorities are in the NFL today and those priorities are basically in the air?
JE: It starts with the quarterback and that’s the bottom line. I think things started really rolling for us in the Peyton sweepstakes and we were able to land Peyton. That really started the ball rolling for us and not because I played the position but I just understand how important it is to have a guy in that position that can do the things that Peyton Manning can do. Plus it attracts everybody else because everybody feels like they have a chance to win. It gives you the credibility, number one, and the chance right away to compete for a world championship (because) you’ve got that guy in that position. We saw that. The people that we signed migrated to Peyton and it lifts everybody else up on our football team.
Next time, we invite you to check out part two with John Elway. We’ll have his thoughts on what he thinks the Broncos’ offense will look like this season, what personnel groups the Broncos might use, what Peyton Manning brings to the organization and more.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts about the Broncos and where you think they stand as training camp gets closer.