On Now
Coming Up
  • Tue., Feb. 27, 2018 12:00 AM MST NFL Scouting Combine begins Feb. 27-March 5: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Mon., Mar. 12, 2018 12:00 AM MDT Clubs may negotiate with unrestricted free agents March 12-14: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2017 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 14. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 14.
  • Wed., Mar. 14, 2018 2:00 PM MDT 2018 league year and free agency period begin

    Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2018 on all players who have option clauses in their 2017 contracts.

    Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.

    Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2017 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

    Top 51 begins. All clubs must be under the 2018 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    All 2017 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The 2018 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The first day of the 2018 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14.

    The first day of the 2018 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14.

    Trading period for 2018 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2017 contracts.

  • Sun., Mar. 25, 2018 12:00 AM MDT Annual League Meetings begin March 25-28: Annual League Meetings, Orlando, Florida.
  • Mon., Apr. 16, 2018 12:00 AM MDT Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs April 16: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 6:00 PM MDT 2018 NFL Draft begins April 26-28: 2018 NFL Draft, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX.
Print
RSS

Elway Recalls Familiar Feeling From '96

Posted Jan 16, 2013

John Elway knows the feeling of a devastating playoff loss. He also knows how to bounce back from it.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There are plenty of similarities between the 1996 Broncos' postseason loss to Jacksonville and the club's most recent loss against Baltimore.

The most important one is the way the team must handle it.

In '96, the top-seeded, 13-3 Broncos fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars by three points at home in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs. They bounced back from the loss to win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and '98. Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway was the quarterback of those teams.

"Looking at how we deal with it, it's the same," Elway said. "The bottom line is -- it will be something that these players will remember for a long time. They'll never forget what happened on Saturday. They'll never forget that, and I think we'll use that as we did in '96. It was a great incentive for us to come back and have even a better year the following year, as we did in '97."

With the playoff experience from his playing days under his belt, Elway knew there was always a possibility that the season could come to a screeching halt with a heartbreaking loss. That was how his 14th season in the NFL ended.

It also turned out to be how quarterback Peyton Manning's 14th season as an NFL starter ended.

"Having been through this before, and having been disappointed before, I realized that this was a possibility," Elway said. "And unfortunately, it happened."

Wide receiver and recent Ring of Fame inductee Rod Smith was also a part of those Denver teams from 1996-98. Much like Smith likely felt after the loss in '96, wideout Demaryius Thomas expressed via Twitter on Sunday that he was lamenting the 38-35, double-overtime loss.

"Still hurting," Thomas tweeted.

Smith recognized a young man in a similar situation to his own a decade-and-a-half ago.

"I know what you feel like," Smith tweeted at Thomas. "Happened to us in 96. Reflect on a very good season. Rest a little. Then go back to work. #fuel2win"

Elway couldn't recall exactly how long it took him to put the loss to Jacksonville behind him. But he pointed out one more similarity between the 1996 and 2012 teams that helped him move past his loss as a player and will help the current Broncos move past Saturday as well.

"It didn't take long because I felt like we had a good football team coming back, as we do now," he said.

And if the team is able to turn misery into motivation this offseason like Elway, Smith and teammates did, then the 2013 Broncos could eventually find a similarity to the 1997 Broncos.

"Once you get back in, you feel good about it and you get that opportunity to go back and compete for next year's Super Bowl," Elway said. "And that's what we'll do."