John Elway publicly calls himself out for being soft

Prior to his team’s Week 11 loss, Denver Broncos president John Elway said that the team had gotten soft. Those comments drew the ire of some Broncos’ players, including Chris Harris, who said that the whole organization (Elway included) should be held accountable.

On Tuesday, Elway clarified his original comments and didn’t disagree with Harris.


The Broncos have enjoyed a lot of success in recent years. They won five straight AFC West titles from 2011-2015, won the AFC Championship in 2013 and 2015, and won it all in 2015. While 2016 was a missed playoff appearance, Denver did finish that year with a winning record.

This year, however, the Broncos are 3-7 and have lost six in a row.

Indeed, this is an organization-wide failure. Elway did not do a good enough job in addressing the quarterback position after Peyton Manning’s retirement. He got complacent, or “soft.”

That’s hurt the team in a big way. If the move to Paxton Lynch doesn’t work, it’s going to hurt even more.

With that said, Denver has also left a lot to be desired on the field. As an example, the defense — which should be this team’s backbone — was absolutely punked in Week 9 as the Philadelphia Eagles put up 51 points. Another example came a week later, when the special teams that couldn’t get out of its own way against the New England Patriots.

It all starts at the top, but these failures also include players playing well below their expectations and abilities.

When a franchise goes through this sharp of a drop, there’s blame to go around.