Elway Has Provided Manning All The Tools

Have John Elway and Gary Kubiak sabotaged Peyton Manning? That's the word going around. MHH Analyst Khalid Alshami refutes that speculation in no uncertain terms.

The Denver Broncos are going through an organizational shift. The team is turning the page and this has left some fans angry and irrational.

It now looks like the Denver Broncos are Brock Osweiler’s team. His play during the preseason, during practice and against the Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears have left many observers impressed. He is a leader and well-respected player in the organization — among teammates and coaches.

With the starting job going to Osweiler, it now looks like Peyton Manning’s time leading the Broncos has come to an unceremonious end, with Manning reportedly looking towards 2016 and potentially playing elsewhere next season, although the team denies said report and Manning has reportedly been "incensed" over the notion.

It has been suggested that Manning did not want to miss any time dating back to last year, because had Osweiler played, Peyton expected the young signal-caller to keep the job.

Looking past that, many fans have suggested things that are unfounded and irrational, including a member of the media. It has been suggested that V.P. John Elway and head coach Gary Kubiak have schemed against Peyton Manning and set the Hall of Fame-bound QB up to fail.

This notion is laughable — at best. John Elway has done everything possible to put the best supporting cast around Manning during his 3-plus seasons in Denver.


Before deciding to return to Denver after Kubiak was hired, Manning spoke with Kubiak and left the conversation convinced he would be able to play within Kubiak’s offensive system, the same system that saw career years from the likes of Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Matt Schaub and Joe Flacco, who just last season threw for 3,986 yards and 29 touchdowns (two rushing), against only 12 interceptions, with a career low 19 sacks.

Back to Elway. He put together a starting offensive line where the only real question mark was at left guard where Ben Garland was the favorite to start. During OTAs the team lost Pro Bowl LT Ryan Clady to a torn ACL.

It was unlucky for the Broncos that this happened after the draft and free agency, because contrary to popular belief, starting-caliber left tackles do not grow on trees. The team's best option was to move rookie tackle Ty Sambrailo over to the left tackle position.

Elway later explored trading for Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns. The team also lost rookie tight end Jeff Heuerman during rookie mini-camp, a loss that would prove to have a larger impact than anyone could have foreseen.

Again, unfortunately, the Browns asking price for Thomas far exceeded any reasonable offer the Broncos were willing to make, so Elway decided to move forward with the O-line as it stood.

Elway had already signed former Bronco Ryan Harris to help solidify the tackle position. As the team got into preseason, Elway had the opportunity to bring in a two time All-Pro guard in Evan Mathis to solidify the interior of the offensive line.

During training camp and the preseason, it also became evident that the offense would not function with Manning playing from under center, a strategy that quickly saw Kubiak abandon his traditional offensive system and move towards the offense Manning has operated his entire career.


As the season progressed, it has been evident that the scheme was not the only issue with the offense, as the O-line without Clady was struggling mightily and there was no production from the tight ends. In response, Elway traded for a former Pro Bowl tight end in Vernon Davis and rekindled trade talks with the Browns for Thomas, falling just short of acquiring the All-Pro.

Kubiak has done everything possible to accommodate Manning’s skill-set, but at the end of the day, it is nearly impossible to make up for his declining arm strength, his lack of mobility and his poor decision making.

With Osweiler in the lineup, the Broncos offense looks, at the very least, decent, which is a huge upgrade from what it was with Manning at the helm in 2015. Parity is the key when observing the Broncos QB play this season.

At every turn during Peyton Manning’s tenure as a Bronco, it is evident that Elway has gone above and beyond, time and again, to put the best team possible around Manning. In separate seasons, Elway put the best offense and the best defense in the league around Peyton.

Elway paid big money to keep Demaryius Thomas in Denver, facilitated Emmanuel Sanders's arrival in 2014 and has consistently provided Manning with additional young weapons via the draft and college free agent pool.

Many want to complain about the talent that has left Dove Valley over the past three seasons but fail to acknowledge the new talent that has been brought in, with little understanding of how the salary cap in the NFL works. Unfortunately for Elway, he is not playing Madden and does not have the ability to bring any player in the NFL to Denver.

So for those suggesting that John Elway or Gary Kubiak have done anything to purposely sabotage Peyton Manning, I can do nothing more than laugh. As I said before, the notion is nothing more than a bad joke.

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Khalid Alshami is an Analyst for MileHighHuddle.com. You can find him on Twitter @KhalidHAlshami.

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