Sports

John Elway has found the right mix of veterans to bolster Broncos' Super Bowl run

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) tosses a football during practice for the football team's NFL playoff game against the San Diego Chargers at the Broncos training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) tosses a football during practice for the football team's NFL playoff game against the San Diego Chargers at the Broncos training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Denver Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips (90) works on drills as other defensive linemen look on during practice for the football team's NFL playoff game against the San Diego Chargers at the Broncos training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Denver Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips (90) works on drills as other defensive linemen look on during practice for the football team's NFL playoff game against the San Diego Chargers at the Broncos training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Denver Broncos defensive end Jeremy Mincey (57) hits a blocking dummy during practice for the football team's NFL playoff game against the San Diego Chargers at the Broncos training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Denver Broncos defensive end Jeremy Mincey (57) hits a blocking dummy during practice for the football team's NFL playoff game against the San Diego Chargers at the Broncos training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)  (The Associated Press)

John Elway followed up possibly the best free agent signing in NFL history — Peyton Manning — with another jackpot this season.

Wes Welker and Louis Vasquez helped transform the Broncos offense into the highest-scoring team in the Super Bowl era, and a bevy of defensive signings helped rescue a unit that was hit hard by injuries and illness.

Vasquez, a fifth-year right guard lured from AFC West rival San Diego, earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors after anchoring an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL (20) this season and produced a league-high six games without allowing a quarterback takedown.