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Elway thinks those doubting Manning’s legacy are reaching

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Denver Broncos

during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.

Jamie Squire

As a quarterback who excelled for years before winning his first Super Bowl, Broncos executive John Elway understands the pressure on his current quarterback.

But he said Tuesday he thinks those wondering about Manning’s legacy — and whether it would be impacted by not winning another ring — are reaching for something to talk about.

“I think that when people say that, they’re looking for something,” Elway said. “Because he had such a tremendous year, I mean, what else are you going to talk about Peyton Manning that’s negative other than, ‘Okay, we’ve got to go to his legacy?’

“So I don’t think this game, one way or the other, affects his legacy the way that he has played. So he’s going to be one of the all-time greats no matter what, and this will definitely help [the argument against that] if we lose it, but the bottom line, this year that he has had – legacies don’t get great until you’re done. That’s when people start talking.”

Of course, when Elway was being discussed in such terms, there was no Twitter, no 24-hour news cycles. Legacies developed over time, and in time, Manning’s greatness should shine through regardless what happens Sunday.