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John Elway: 'We'll continue to play hard'

Posted Nov 17, 2017

Elway is disappointed with how the Broncos have lost recent games, but added, "If we play hard hard and keep working hard, then good things will happen."

DENVER -- It's not simply the fact that the Broncos have lost five consecutive games that rankles President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway. It's the magnitude of the defeats, all of which have come by double digits.

"You're going to lose football games in this league, but the way it's [come] about, not being competitive, is probably the thing that concerns me the most," Elway said Friday night at the Ring of Fame induction ceremony at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

"We've got to be able to learn to battle through those, and obviously they come in clumps, and we haven't been able to overcome it. Until we do overcome that ... it's going to be tough to win football games.

"That's why we'll continue to play hard. If we play hard hard and keep working hard, then good things will happen."

Few of those good things have happened since the Week 5 bye, which the Broncos entered with a 3-1 record before a skid put them in their current position.

"To be dead honest with you, we got a little bit soft," Elway said. "We went 4-0 in the preseason, we started out 3-1, and then we get a bye week, and if you exhale in this league, you're in trouble. To be dead honest with you, I think we exhaled, and it's hard to recover from that. It'll be a lesson that hopefully we all learn, and then can prevent from happening in the future."

He expects the recent defeats will provide valuable lessons for the team and its coaching staff, with a first-time head coach (Vance Joseph) and two first-time coordinators (Joe Woods and Brock Olivo).

"Just like with players, you've got to give them a chance to grow and learn from certain situations," Elway said. "Obviously it's been a little bit tougher situation, but sometimes you learn a lot more from tougher situations than when things are going good.

"Vance, in my mind, is doing fine, and he's continuing to get these guys to play hard, and the energy is still there, so we'll work our way through it."

He believes the team has the "right type" of people to reverse the recent slide.

"They're working hard," Elway said. "The desire is still there, and they know the expectations, and we're not out of this thing. We're not going to say, ‘Never,' until they say, 'You're no longer in this hunt.' So we've got to start on Sunday with playing well against the Bengals."

And while the coaches can guide the team from its slump, ultimately the players are the ones that have to do the heavy lifting, Elway said, noting that this sort of streak is harder to endure as an executive as a player because he has less power to alter it as it takes place.

"As a player you can do a little bit more about it. As a GM, you sit back and watch," he said. "So that's why it's very frustrating for me, and that's why the players have to understand that they're the ones who are going to have to bring us out of it. Not the coaches, but the players are going to have to bring this team out of this, so hopefully we're prepared for this challenge."