John Elway Explains 'Soft' Comments, Says He Was Referring to Himself as Well

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2017

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway talks to reporters Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Englewood, Colo. The Broncos open NFL football training camp on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Denver Broncos president of football operations John Elway explained Tuesday that his comments about the team being "a little bit soft" were directed at all members of the club and not just players.

"I was talking about everybody in the organization," Elway told Orange and Blue 760 (via ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold). "Sometimes success will make you soft and you won't pay attention to some of the details that you need to pay attention to. And I'd put myself first in line there."

Elway's initial comments, which were made Friday, rankled several Broncos players—including linebacker Brandon Marshall.

"We definitely didn't take kindly to those remarks," he said, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. "I understand this is his team and he put it together, so his name is on it. But it's our skin in the game. Nobody is soft on this team. We work our [butt] off, and we work hard. We play hard, and we go out there and give it 100 every game and every practice. We just fall short."

But as Jhabvala chronicled, a handful of other players, including edge-rusher Von Miller, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and defensive tackle Domata Peko, were not perturbed by the assessment.

"He wouldn't have said it if he wasn't telling the truth," Thomas said. "We've lost six in a row. I think there's a little softness in us somewhere, and he's talking about everybody, including me."

The Broncos—whose last win came Oct. 1 against the Oakland Raiders—will hope to complete a season sweep of the Silver and Black and avoid a seventh straight loss Sunday when they travel to the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum for an AFC West showdown.

According to ESPN.com's Dan Graziano, the Broncos are expected to announce Wednesday that Paxton Lynch will make his third career start in place of the struggling Brock Osweiler.

Last season, Lynch completed 59.0 percent of his passes for 497 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in three appearances, including two starts.