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Sacco Sez: Trusting the process

Posted Mar 10, 2018

How the Broncos build their team through free agency and the NFL Draft is a process that no matter how large or small a move must be followed through, Jim Saccomano writes.

These are at once exciting times and scary times for Denver Broncos fans.

Free agency is upon us (especially the quarterbacks). The draft and its multitude of prospects (especially quarterbacks) are being studied and scrutinized. And the "what if" factor can be very big on the negative side.

But the "what if" factor can be large on the positive side as well.

The whole process of putting a team together is just that, a process, and that must play out. In particular, ask yourself this question — who would you trust more for his passion to the Broncos, the city and our football time zone than John Elway?

In no way am I suggesting every move John makes is right. After all, even he is human — sort of.

Just think back a few months to when people thought the Philadelphia Eagles might go to the Super Bowl, led by possible NFL MVP Carson Wentz.

Who among us would have said that they would indeed go to and win their first Super Bowl, but instead quarterbacked by Nick Foles?

No one.

But having Foles on the team, working with him, coaching him — that was all part of the process. And when it played out, they were champions and the asking price for Foles is presumably very high.

And that brings me to a big part of scouting and one that is a major factor in everything John Elway does: his gut and feel for the game.

One of the greatest games in Broncos history was a 26-24 comeback win over the Houston Oilers in a 1991 divisional playoff game.

In that game Elway took over at the Denver 2-yard line with 2:07 remaining and led the Broncos on an 87-yard drive that resulted in the winning field goal with just 16 seconds remaining.

But one play in that drive stood out not for its result, a big completion to wide receiver Vance Johnson, but for a move Elway made to evade a tackler whom he could not have seen before throwing the pass.

After the game and the interviews were over, head coach Dan Reeves asked John why he would have moved away from the certain sack when the tackler had come from behind and Elway could have had no idea the defensive player was there.

"I don't know," John told Dan. "I just had a hunch."

The coach walked away and I followed closely with the next piece of business when Dan said to me, "Some guys are just great, and they see things others cannot, and even more, those kind of guys anticipate things they cannot even see."

Those guys, when matched up with the proper preparation, are very tough to beat.

So whether it is the most prominent of free agent quarterbacks, or someone perceived to be less than that, or the most prominent of quarterbacks in the draft, or someone perceived to be less than that, Elway will do something.

It is all part of the process, and we need to let that play out.

And the guy who has the greatest role in the evaluation and selection process is the same quarterback who once dodged tacklers he did not even know were there.

He anticipated things he could not even see on the playing field, and my guess is he will do it again in his personnel decisions in the coming weeks.