"He's the head guy," Miller said Sunday following Denver's 20-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, per Zac Stevens of BSN Denver. "His comments—he's the boss. That's what he said. He said it. I was kind of taken back by it, which you should. If you have any type of emotion about you, your reaction should be 'What? I'm not soft?' But, if you take a look back at it, the truth is that's what we've been putting out there. That's the type of team that we've developed into. That's what we got. It's the truth. He's telling the truth."
Elway's comments came Friday when he said, "But I will tell you, I think we got a little bit soft," per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com.
Those "soft" Broncos lost their sixth straight contest Sunday following a 3-1 start to the season.
While Miller didn't shy away from the criticism Elway offered, it was hard to blame his defensive unit during Sunday's game. Cincinnati managed just 49 yards on 26 carries (1.9 yards per attempt), while quarterback Andy Dalton threw for a mere 154 yards.
Dalton did have three touchdown throws, but the Broncos offense did the defense no favors when Dre Kirkpatrick intercepted Brock Osweiler and returned it all the way to Denver's 1-yard line to set up Dalton's first score.
The losing streak continues a downward trend for the franchise, which won the Super Bowl in the 2015 season but missed the playoffs altogether last year for the first time since the 2010 campaign. Denver no longer looks like the annual challenger to the New England Patriots in the AFC and instead finds itself in a position where its premier player is answering questions about the general manager's critical comments.
Miller wasn't the only one who admitted Elway may have a point.
"When you've lost five games in a row—and John's watched this team every day," head coach Vance Joseph said, per Nick Shook of NFL.com. "He watched every week. He watches every practice and he watches every game. So when he said that, I was initially offended, but in some aspects he's right."
The Broncos are just 3-7, but they actually have a chance to turn things around with four straight contests against the 4-6 Oakland Raiders, 4-6 Miami Dolphins, 4-6 New York Jets and 3-7 Indianapolis Colts. If they prove they aren't soft in the upcoming stretch, the 5-5 Baltimore Ravens and 5-5 Buffalo Bills are well within reach for the final AFC playoff spot.