Ed McCaffrey won three Super Bowls in his 13-year NFL career, including two with the Denver Broncos. He’s of course rooting for Denver to make it back to the Super Bowl this season, but the Broncos have a bit of a quarterback conundrum on their hands. They’ve got a capable, healthy Brock Osweiler, and they’ve got a struggling, not-healthy Peyton Manning.
Denver has announced that Osweiler will start for the rest of the regular season, but what about the postseason? Does Denver stick with Osweiler or give the job back to Manning, assuming that he is healthy?
“Well, I don’t think there’s a head coach in the NFL better suited to handle a tough decision at the quarterback position than Gary Kubiak,” McCaffrey said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “One, he played the game. He’s been a starter, he’s been a backup, he’s coached the game for a really long time, he’s dealt with a lot of really elite players and he’s just a good guy. But he’s also a competitor and a head football coach whose job is to do what’s best for the football team. I think everybody respects him for that reason. That’s why I think he gets along with Peyton Manning. That’s why I think he gets along with Brock Osweiler. That’s why his players respect him.
“So a lot of people talk about what’s going to happen,” McCaffrey continued. “I’m in the camp that believes you don’t have to worry about it until you have to worry about it. He’s being honest when he says we’ll deal with that when the time comes. Right now, the most important thing Peyton Manning has to do for him and for his team is to get healthy. The most impotent thing Brock has to do is continue to prepare to be the starting quarterback so he can do his job to help the team win. Now, Brock and Peyton have been working together. I’ve seen them together in the locker room talking abut plays. They’re discussing checks and audibles, they talk after the game – they’re getting along really well and both of them are super competitive guys.
“So I think that’s the sign of a great team and also great character and a football player when you root for your competition but compete with them at the same time. Peyton is doing everything he can to get back on the field. Brock is doing everything he can to stay on the field. They’re getting along well together, and when the time comes when Peyton’s 100 percent healthy, that will be a good problem to have.”
McCaffrey was also asked about his son, Christian, who is a legitimate threat to win the Heisman Trophy. The Stanford tailback is averaging roughly 137 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards and 80 return yards per game for the 10-2 Cardinal.
You would think McCaffrey, like many fathers, would be in his son’s ear a lot about what to do and what not to do – perhaps in an overbearing way.
“We talk a little bit about football, but the toughest thing with me for Christian is not saying too much,” McCaffrey said. “He has real high football IQ, he loves the game, he’s got great coaches and he has great instincts, so I don’t want to say anything that’s going to mess him up. He’s got a good thing going. I’m really excited for Christian. He loves his coaches, he loves his teammates, their team is having a great year, they get to play for the Pac-12 championship this year and he’s the first to dole out credit to all of his teammates. Any awards that he gets are team awards, really.”
During Stanford’s win over Notre Dame last week, McCaffrey broke Reggie Bush’s Pac-12 record for all-purpose yards in a single season, becoming just the third player in NCAA history to crack 3,000 yards in that category. He is now just 215 yards shy of Barry Sanders’ all-time record.
Christian had a poster of Sanders in his boyhood bedroom.
“When you see your kid kind of getting mentioned in the same realm with his heroes when he was growing up, as a parent, it makes you happy,” McCaffrey said. “It’s like, wow, he’s living his dream. I’m extremely excited about it. Whether he gets any of the postseason awards is beside the point. He’s in a good place, he loves the people that he’s working with, he love his school and he’s having a lot of fun. As a parent, that’s all you wish for for your kids.”