Broncos Hall of Famer John Elway may have retired from the game of football, but the legendary quarterback is still very much in the know when it comes to the NFL.
The father of four has been busy since hanging up the spikes. Elway owned part of the Colorado Crush before the Arena Football League went under. He currently owns a pair of steakhouses in Colorado, both named "Elway's." The former MVP has owned and sold a number of auto dealerships, became the spokesperson for OpenSports.com and appears on ESPN radio in Denver on Monday mornings to talk football.
In the midst of on ongoing promotion with Pepsi Max, the two-time Super Bowl champion took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to speak with Pro Football Weekly:
PFW: First, tell us about the promotion with Pepsi Max.
JE: Well, we've got a little contest going with NFL.com and Pepsi Max where fans can take a picture showing us why they think they're the ultimate fan. The trick is, they have to have a bottle of Pepsi Max in the picture. With that, the winner gets to go to London, with me, to watch the Broncos-49ers game (in Week Eight on Oct. 31). It's a great opportunity for the fans and it's nice for the NFL and Pepsi Max.
PFW: How involved have you been with the Broncos since your retirement?
JE: I'm still in touch with the team and I'm enjoying doing that. I've had a chance to go to several practices. I'm definitely still good friends with (Broncos owner) Pat Bowlen. I stay in touch with him often.
PFW: A big question in the NFL right now is whether or not to extend the season to 18 games. How do you feel about that?
JE: That is physically demanding on players. Whether or not that shortens players' careers, you have two more physical football games where you take that pounding, open guys to injury. The preseason is very, very good for the young guys to be able to show what they can do. That's when those young guys get a chance. With just two (preseason) games, the emphasis is going to now be on getting the vets ready for the test of the NFL season.
PFW: Ever think about getting back into the league in some shape or form?
JE: I'm getting a little closer with the Broncos. Getting closer with them on the business side. There's always that idea that I would like to get back a little closer to it.
PFW: How about on the coaching side?
JE: I did. My dad was a coach and I knew the amount of time that it took and those coaches would have to spend. Coaching was something I always felt I could fall back on. But with the amount of time I spent away from my family in my playing days, and the age of my kids at the time, I wanted to be able to spend time with them.
PFW: Looking back on the Jay Cutler-Kyle Orton deal, what are your thoughts about it now?
JE: There was always question about the Jay Cutler trade. It was just a decision that Josh (McDaniels) chose to make. Cutler is obviously a big reason why they're playing well in Chicago but they're also playing great "D." Kyle (Orton) has done everything they've asked him to do in Denver.
PFW: McDaniels has made some interesting moves. What do you think of the second-year head coach?
JE: I think he's done a good job. He's got conviction of what he wants to do. He's a very enthusiastic coach, a very intelligent coach with a good backing, having been in New England. It's going to take him time to get the attitude and players. He wants to get them used to the system, certain situations. It will come down to how he handles those situations that makes or breaks him.
PFW: With all of the good QBs out there today, who is the best in your book?
JE: There are a lot of good quarterbacks. It's a shining spot in the NFL right now. With the rules that have been implemented, it makes for more of an exciting game. It's hard to argue that there's anybody better than Peyton Manning. I like Tom Brady a lot. You know anytime he steps on the football field you're going to have your hands full. Drew Brees, he's not your typical quarterback but he's a great leader. (Tony) Romo in Dallas. He is throwing for a lot of yards, finally got them a win last week. The surprise this year is Michael Vick. He's having a great year and makes it fun watch.
PFW: Which of the current pro quarterbacks would you say most closely matches your style?
JE: Style-wise, Donovan McNabb is probably the closest. I would say Vick, but he's probably twice as fast as I was. I think Donovan. Ben (Roethlisberger) is probably a little bit closer now, with the things he does with his legs.