ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -With No. 7 emblazoned across his chest, the high school senior preparing for the season opener Friday night drops back and throws a dart to a receiver in the back of the end zone.
Wow, this kid really is the next Elway.
Jack Elway is the 17-year-old son of Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who is tutoring his kid this season as Cherry Creek High School's quarterbacks coach.
``As a rule of coaching, you really don't want to have a parent as a coach,'' Bruins coach Greg Critchett said.
But this is no ordinary parent. This is the man who is revered in Denver for leading the Broncos to consecutive Super Bowl titles in the 1990s. This is one father who could really help out.
``I was interested in trying to get whatever time we could with him. Minicamp, a couple of times a week, whatever,'' Critchett said. ``We started talking about it early in the summer. His schedule was freed up, so it was really a no-brainer in my eyes.''
The elder Elway doesn't want his return to the football field to turn into a media frenzy and wants to keep the focus on the kids.
John Elway hadn't been on the football field in a long time. He retired in 1999, when most of the players he's coaching were in the third grade. But with Jack in his senior season, John's urge kicked in.
``He was kind of was like, 'What would you think if I came and coached?''' Jack said. ``I just said that'd be great. If anything, he can help us out. It wasn't a big shock for me to see him out here, and everyone kind of got used to it.''
Jack, named for his grandfather, won the starting job as a junior. He's considering a number of big-time college programs but said his dad isn't pushing for him to go to Stanford like he did.
``I liked Stanford,'' Jack said. ``My sister goes there, so I've been there a bit. But I'd say Oregon, Arizona State, LSU, and UCLA.''
Critchett said you'd never know the Elways were related by the way they interact on the field.
``I never see John screaming or getting in his grill or anything like that,'' Critchett said. ``I just don't think that's the way they are with each other. Overall, it's a very professional relationship.''
Jack insists his father never pushed him to play football.
``He just kind of threw it out there,'' Jack said. ``I was the one who accepted it. I tried it. I loved it. That's why I play it.''
Jack beat out a senior for the starting job last year. The Bruins went 6-5 and reached the playoffs, where they lost to Arvada West in the first round.
Critchett said the team never got used to the spotlight that came with having an icon's son under center and a Hall of Famer in the stands.
``Last year, we had so many guys (playing) their first varsity game,'' Critchett said. ``There's always some intrigue there. We've got a lot of kids back, so this year, with some of the interest in terms of John, I think the kids have handled it really well.''
Many of the players on the team grew up with Jack, so in their minds John Elway isn't the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.
To them, he's just Jack's dad.
Sports Insights' Advanced Betting Tools - NFL Free 14-Day Trial

NFL Team Pages

Recent NFL Discussions