John Elway said he just couldnt pass on Peyton Mannings heir apparent, even though he hopes Brock Osweiler will be holding a clipboard for years to come.
Elway said he had to sacrifice the short-term for the long-term when he used a second-round pick last month on the Arizona State quarterback rather than drafting a player who could help Manning right away.
The boss of the Denver Broncos was joined by coach John Fox in an hour-long conference call with 6,000 season-ticket holders Tuesday, and one caller from suburban Broomfield asked Elway for his reasoning in selecting Osweiler with the 57th overall pick.
The Hall of Fame quarterback, who rejoined the Broncos last year as vice president of football operations, replied: Its always tough to pick a quarterback that you know is not going to play for you for a while. But I think we have high hopes for him in the future, to where once Peyton decides to hang them up, that hes the guy in waiting that can keep this (going), and we dont miss a beat ... and we can continue to compete for world championships year in and year out.
Manning signed a five-year, $96-million deal in Denver after his release from Indianapolis. His father, Archie, has said he thinks his son is year-to-year after missing all of last season because of a nerve injury that caused weakness in his right throwing arm.
Manning, however, has said he intends to fulfill all five years of his contract.
That would mean a long apprenticeship for Osweiler, a 21-year-old righty from Montana who stands 6-8 and is working hard to fix flaws in his throwing motion to better capitalize on his height advantage.
Its a perfect situation where theres not the pressure for him to come in and start right away, Elway said. Hes not ready for that. But hes also going to learn from Peyton, and ... I think its a great learning experience for him to where we are set for the future.
And hes our guy for the future, Elway said. And sometimes we have to sacrifice the short-term for the long-term to grab the guy that you believe can be that next guy for you, and thats Brock Osweiler.
Many of the questions during the conference call, which the Broncos have been using as a way to connect with their most ardent supporters, centered on Manning and the Broncos revamped offense.
Manning has been working out at the teams Dove Valley complex since offseason workouts began last month. OTAs will start Monday, and thats the first chance for media to see firsthand how the leagues only four-time MVP is throwing the football after undergoing a series of neck operations last year.
One caller told Elway he was a child when he saw him more than 25 years ago but didnt get the autograph hed hoped for, so Elway promised hed sign something for him now.