ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- John Elway said Tuesday he just couldn't pass on Peyton Manning's heir apparent, even though he hopes Brock Osweiler will be holding a clipboard for years to come.
The Denver Broncos' vice president 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.
"It's always tough to pick a quarterback that you know is not going to play for you for a while," the Hall of Fame quarterback said on a conference call with season ticket holders.
"But I think we have high hopes for him in the future to where once Peyton decides to hang them up that he's the guy in waiting that can keep this (going) and we don't 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 the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. 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 throwing arm.
Manning, however, has said he intends to fulfill all five years of his contract.
That would mean a long apprenticeship for Osweiler.
"It's a perfect situation where there's not the pressure for him to come in and start right away," Elway said. "He's not ready for that. ... And he's our guy for the future. 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 that's Brock Osweiler."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press