DENVER — Despite a 1-4 start to the season, President of Football Operation/General Manager John Elway said he remains excited about what the Broncos can potentially accomplish in 2019.
“We’ve still got a chance to do some good things and we’ve got to take them one at a time,” Elway said Friday at the Broncos’ event to honor Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen and members of the Broncos Top 100 Team. “We’ve dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early, but we’ve played good enough football, we just haven’t been able to win some of them. Nice to get one last week, so hopefully we can build on that this week.”
Elway said while it was nice for the Broncos to “get over the hump,” the team still has a substantial hole from which to dig out.
He said he is pleased, though, about the way Head Coach Vic Fangio has handled the start and continued to lead the team.
“I think he’s done great,” Elway said. “Obviously it’s been tough. It’s been tough on everybody. But I think he’s been a pillar and done a nice job and stayed the course and kept working hard at it. He’s done a nice job.”
Elway emphasized that the team remains focused on winning games this season.
“We’re trying to win football games,” Elway said. “No one from our side is on the trading block. We’re going to try to continue to win football games.”
AN IMPROVING OFFENSE
When Elway traded for Joe Flacco this offseason, he said the 34-year-old quarterback was just entering his prime.
Through five games, Flacco has rewarded some of that faith. He currently holds the highest completion rate of his career and has led a pair of drives in the fourth quarter of games to take late leads.
“He’s continuing to get better and better [like] everybody,” Elway said. “[It’s a] new offensive coordinator, new offensive staff and I think with [Offensive Coordinator] Rich [Scangarello], Rich is growing as a coordinator and Joe’s growing. They’re growing together and getting more comfortable with each other, so that’s continuing to get better and better. And that’s why offensively we continue to get better and better. Obviously, we’ve got to get more consistency on the offensive side, but there’s a lot of good signs there that we’ve seen.”
Flacco and Scangarello have been helped by the emergence — or improvement — of young players like Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay, Noah Fant and Dalton Risner.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys, and they’ve all come on,” Elway said. “Risner’s done a nice job, Noah’s done a nice job. A lot of young guys. Lindsay. ... Courtland’s done a heck of a job too in coming on. So those young guys are stepping up and continuing to grow.”
Free-agent signing Bryce Callahan has yet to play this season because of a foot injury, and Elway said the team will have to “wait and see” if he is able to return this season.
“Well, it’s been frustrating for everybody, including him,” Elway said. “It’s just one of those things. We’ll see how the last thing goes and see if he’ll be able to get back this year or not.”
He added that the team had not yet decided which two players to activate from injured reserve in a couple of weeks.
“We’ll see,” said Elway when asked specifically about rookie quarterback Drew Lock. “We’re going to play that by ear. We obviously have got a lot of guys on IR, so we have to use those two the right way. So we’re going to take it week by week and see how it goes. So we have not made any decisions on what we’re going to do with those two slots yet.”
MILLER’S EFFORT REMAINS IMPRESSIVE
Von Miller has totaled just two sacks through the first five games of the season — his lowest output through five games during his career.
Elway, though, said he thinks Miller has kept the right attitude.
“It’s frustrating for Von; he gets a lot of attention,” Elway said. “But I think he’ll keep working at it, stay after it and he’s still the same player he always has been. [He’s just got] to break through and make those plays when you can. He’s made some big plays for us, and he’ll continue to get more comfortable. But you know, you lose a guy like [Bradley] Chubb on the other side, it’s not going to help Von. Von’s continuing to work hard at it.”