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Elway indicates he'd like to head Broncos' football operations

DENVER -- Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway confirmed his interest in working for the Broncos again.

Elway said Friday on his weekly radio show on Denver's 87.7 The Ticket that he has spoken with team owner Pat Bowlen and chief operating officer Joe Ellis about joining the front office in an official capacity, but those discussions haven't gone far.

"They've had plenty on their plate," Elway said. "We'll sit down at some point in time and have some meetings and see if everything aligns what they'd want out of me and what they'd expect out of me and what they're looking for. There's definitely going to be some conversations."

Elway, who has served as a business consultant this season to the team that he quarterbacked to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in the 1990s, indicated a role as the Broncos' top football executive might appeal to him.

"Football is what I know the best," Elway said. "I'm not interested in being a head coach. I'm not interested in being a general manager. I don't have that kind of experience to be able to pick those players day in and day out and such."

Bowlen dined with Elway at his Cherry Creek restaurant Monday night just hours after the Broncos' owner fired coach Josh McDaniels with his team mired in mediocrity and enshrouded in off-the-field issues, including the videotaping scandal.

His dinner with the owner spawned speculation that Elway could come back, perhaps to oversee an organizational chart that includes both a GM and a coach. Elway said his dinner with Bowlen had been planned for a couple of weeks: "Obviously, it became a big deal, but it was really just a dinner."

McDaniels' firing caught Elway by surprise, coming one week after Bowlen had given his embattled coach a vote of confidence.

"I thought they were going to wait until the end of the season," Elway said. "I think the Spygate deal was the end of the road for them and they thought they had to make a move."

Elway echoed comments made by Ellis and quarterback Kyle Orton that McDaniels will resurface in another NFL city down the road and be successful.

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"I think in the long run, Josh is going to be a good coach. He's already a good football coach now, but he'll be a good head coach down the line," Elway said. "Once he gets that experience, the things he went through here in Denver, if he learns from those, then he has a chance be a real good coach down the road. It's unfortunate. You never like to see this happen to anybody or to any organization."

On Tuesday, Ellis, who is in charge of the day-to-day operations at team headquarters, said he wasn't sure if Elway would hook up with the Broncos again.

"I respect the fact that he's interested in helping the Broncos, and he has a lot of qualities that perhaps (can) lend themselves to helping the Broncos," Ellis said. "But I don't know if that's going to advance at this point or not. I don't."

The Broncos promoted running backs coach Eric Studesville to interim coach, and he'll be the first in line for an interview for the full-time gig at season's end.

Ellis said the Broncos are still mapping out their organizational chart, but the next coach likely will not have as much power over personnel decisions as McDaniels or his predecessor, Mike Shanahan, did.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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