DENVER (AP) -John Elway understands why Jay Cutler recently called out a troubled teammate, he just wouldn't have taken the same approach.
``I was surprised to hear it actually,'' the former Broncos quarterback said Wednesday.
Cutler, fed up with all the drama surrounding Brandon Marshall, lashed out at his No. 1 receiver and fellow third-year star, who suffered a gash on his right forearm while messing around last month.
``He's not my favorite person right now,'' the current Broncos quarterback said of Marshall.
Elway didn't think this particular incident necessitated Cutler's ire.
``Him cutting his arm is not that big of deal to me,'' Elway said. ``Obviously, he was wrestling with his brother. He's still a kid.''
Marshall, who emerged as Cutler's primary target in his breakout 2007 season, said he was horsing around with his older brother at a resort in Orlando, Fla., when he fell into a television set, cutting an artery, a vein, a nerve, two tendons and three muscles in his right arm.
It's not the first time Marshall has found himself in the news. He faces a drunken driving charge stemming from an October incident.
Cutler said incidents like Marshall's accident simply can't happen.
``If that's what Jay feels like he needs to comment on, he needs to do that,'' Elway said. ``Personally, I would've done it to him. Even though I tried to settle things in the press, looking back over the years, it hasn't been the right way to do it.''
Elway, the CEO of the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush, voiced his comments as he talked about his team's game Friday night with the Cleveland Gladiators, who are co-owned by Bernie Kosar. The two quarterbacks, and their cities, are permanently linked thanks to their postseason meetings.
``Bernie was talking about taking me down on the field. I wouldn't feel comfortable unless they threw dog bones,'' Elway said with a grin.
Elway appreciates Cutler's attempt to become more of a vocal leader.
``As a quarterback, you've got to take a leadership role,'' Elway said. ``Jay has that last year under his belt. I'm sure he feels a lot better where he's going. They need someone to take over. That's a good move on Jay's part.
``Bottom line, there's talk and there's wins,'' he said.
Elway couldn't recall exactly when he earned the trust and respect of his teammates. He said it just stemmed from winning games.
``You'll feel them follow you,'' he said. ``There are different ways to lead - everyone has a different way. Jay will have his own personal way, too. It's just a matter of when you gain the respect of those teammates. That's when leadership comes. They respect what you're doing.''
Although the Broncos have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, Elway isn't concerned about the direction of the team.
``I just know having been in that organization for 16 years, they're not trying to get worse,'' he said. ``They're trying to get better.''
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