Denver Broncos: Mark Schlereth rips John Elway, front office

26 Jul 1998: Guard Mark Schlereth #69 of the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr /Allsport
26 Jul 1998: Guard Mark Schlereth #69 of the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr /Allsport /

Former Bronco great Mark Schlereth lets his thoughts on the state of the team and his old friend, John Elway. Read to find out what he said.

It seems unlikely that Mark Schlereth will be receiving any Christmas cards from the Elway family anytime soon.

On Tuesday’s episode of FOX Sports 1’s Speak For Yourself with Jason Whitlock and Marcellus Wiley, the topic turned to the “mess that John Elway has made in Denver” and Schlereth, a frequent guest of the show, was asked whether he felt that John Elway would be able to fix the nosediving direction that the Denver Broncos are heading in.

Needless to say, Schlereth didn’t hold back.

"“Do I trust him to fix what’s gone wrong? No! This football team lacks depth, they lack talent, they lack grit, they lack toughness. You name it, they don’t have it. That’s where they are right now. They haven’t had an offensive line that’s worth a squirt of urine in five years.”Mark Schlereth"

Speaking of the offensive line, while on the topic, Schlereth leans the topic toward his favorite guy in the league, Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles. Note the heavy sarcasm.

"“You run 72, I can’t even say his name. You run 72 out there every week, who tackles every player that he goes against, that has no idea what he’s doing, that makes five mental mistakes a game. You think you can continue to run him out and not every guy in that locker room is pissed off? Why is he on our team? Why is he playing? Why does he get this opportunity? I wouldn’t get this opportunity. I wouldn’t get 17 games or three seasons of crap to fix my junk.”Mark Schlereth"

His feelings toward Bolles have changed dramatically from a guy he used to be so high on:

Schlereth did not pull any punches when discussing his former team, running over his former teammate (Elway) whom he used to protect. The man has never been afraid to speak his mind, especially when it comes to something he is so passionate about. For example, the team that he played for.

Schlereth delivered this dialogue with passion and fire, and that’s likely because he truly cares about this franchise and the struggles hurt him as much as they do the fans, likely worse.

However, that doesn’t mean everything he said was right. Schlereth did get some things right. This team has lacked an offensive line for five years, and Garett Bolles likely still only has a job in Denver because John Elway is not ready to call a first-round pick a failure so soon. There is a lack of depth at certain positions, such as QB, offensive line, cornerback, and as of now, wide receiver, to name a few.

But it is simply untrue that this entire team lacks talent, grit, and toughness. The Denver Broncos still boast one of the best defenses and have made a huge turn-around following the Jacksonville game. Guys like Justin Simmons, Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris Jr., and up and coming Alexander Johnson, to name a few, possess massive amounts of grit and toughness.

A defense with Von Miller, Bradley Chubb (once healthy), Harris, Wolfe, Simmons, and Josey Jewell does not lack talent.

While the offensive side is not as balanced, the young guys like Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, and Royce Freeman look to balance a sustainable Broncos offense over the years to come.

Many members of this team give 110 percent week in and week out and hate that the team is losing just as much as Schlereth does.

One thing that Schlereth failed to mention that the team does have is youth. The Denver Broncos are the third-youngest team in the NFL, with lots of guys with room to grow and mature. This team isn’t where it wants to be right now, but they will get there; the team is in a rebuild, after all.

Perhaps Schlereth is right. Maybe Elway won’t be the one to fix it. Only time will tell.

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