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2014 NFL Scouting Combine: John Elway takes the pulpit

Here are some quick hits from John Elway's press conference today at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.

Sean Gardner

Champ Bailey (via Jeff Legwold):

Elway also said he will sit down with cornerback Champ Bailey before free agency opens on March 11 to discuss what Bailey is amenable to in the coming season. "Yeah, we're still in the process of talking about that," Elway said. "I'm going to sit down with Champ first and find out what he wants to do and go from there."

After playing in just five regular-season games because of a foot injury, Bailey is entering the final year of his deal and carries a $10 million salary cap figure for 2014.  That is currently the second-highest on the team, behind only quarterback Peyton Manning's $17.5 million cap figure for the coming season.

Wes Welker

"He is under contract."

Interesting the differences Elway took in explaining each situation.  Both Champ and Welker are at the end of their careers.  You can read between the lines on this one.  Elway will listen to the old vet but something has to be done about that salary.  H/T to Ian Henson for pointing out that subtlety.

Peyton Manning

"He should be fine"

Elway added Manning is expected to visit with doctors in Denver next week to evaluate his neck fusion. Manning has said repeatedly he planned on playing in 2014 unless the doctors told him not to. He had a similar exam following the 2012 season. (via Legwold).

What can the team improve on?

"I think that when you look at the numbers, offensively, you're going to say we don't have to get much better because you can't put up better numbers than what we did offensively. Defensively, there were a lot of injuries over there, but we didn't play as consistent as we had the year before. I think when you look at the Super Bowl and look at the way we played, I think there is a mentality there that we want to create that when we get down like that in a situation, we have to be able to get it turned around. We weren't able to get it done in the Super Bowl. We had done it earlier in the year. I think there is always a mentality and you try to create that mentality."

Free Agency vs. The Draft

"With free agency, we're always trying to get ourselves in a position where when we go into the draft-we don't have a glaring weakness where we are reaching for somebody in the draft. So I think it's important for free agency, in my opinion, to try to pick up the places where you think you have glaring holes and fill those holes and then when you go to the draft be able to draft the best players that you hope are going to have great careers in the NFL."

On being "Physical"

"The question always comes up: what makes somebody physical? What makes a team physical? In 1997-98, we were not a physical football team and we were World Champions. To me, being physical is more of a mentality than it is the type of offense or defense that you run. It's about how you attack the game. In the zone running game, it's the ability to be able to cut off the backside. If you have to cut their legs out, you cut them out. If you get an elbow in the head then you get up and say, ‘You know what? I'm going to get up and do it again.' So it's not about blowing guys off the ball or being physical, it's about a mentality of whatever you're doing offensively or defensively you do it 100 percent and you do it in a physical nature. Sometimes it's not, as I said, double-teaming a guy off the line of scrimmage. It's also making sure you cut off the backside."

Go Broncos!!!