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Elway won't set magic number for wins, eyes 'strides from where we were'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Eight wins? Nine wins? 10 wins? More?

How many wins would constitute a successful season for the Broncos?

Or is success determined by some other metric? Keenum's passing yards, Thomas' touchdown catches, Miller's sacks?

Most every Broncos fan likely has an opinion on the matter, especially as it relates to the win total.

But if President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway has an opinion on the topic, he wasn't about to share it on Friday at the team's annual media barbecue.

"I'm not going to put a number on it," Elway said. "I think that I want to see us take strides from where we were last year. Obviously, there were some games we weren't competitive in, and so it was a difficult year. I think for us to make the strides and know what our goals are—obviously, we want to make the playoffs and be able to compete for world championships.

"This is the first step back after a tough season, but there's no reason why in my opinion, we can't come back and compete for that."

Elway admitted the Broncos may need to rely heavily upon a set of young players — one that includes Bradley Chubb, Courtland Sutton and Royce Freeman. For both the coaches and executives, that means tempering expectations when the season first begins.

"I don't have any expectations of those young guys coming in and being All-Pro the first day of camp, or even All-Pro in their first game for that matter," Elway said. "Mentally, they have to take that step. It always takes time and it goes at different speeds for different guys."

But that doesn't mean Elway doesn't expect his team to be competitive in the process. Case Keenum, a fortified offensive line and a new-look defense should help key Denver's turnaround after a 5-11 season.

"We still plan on [winning now]," Elway said. "I think with that, we've got to make the strides that we made and have high expectations. We always do. I think if you don't, if you're playing for down the road, you should probably get a different profession. I think that every time you come to the NFL and feel like [you] can compete, put things together, work together as a team, then you have a chance to be competitive."

So while there's no number, there should be plenty of reason for confidence.

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