ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway sat down with Chris Hall of Broncos TV to talk about the Bronco's first loss of the season and to take a look ahead to the return of Mike Shanahan in the Week 8 edition of the Elway Access Podcast presented by US Bank Flex Perks.
It had been nearly 54 weeks since the Broncos' last lost a regular season game before Sunday's 39-33 loss in Indianapolis. The last time was Oct. 7, 2012.
Elway credited the Colts for the way they played but added that the good thing was that the Broncos still had a chance in the end.
With the winning streak behind them, the challenge now is how the team builds from the loss.
"Well it was a little bit odd," Elway said. "When you look it, when you look back out of the last 19 games we've won seventeen – so we only lost two – obviously, the playoff game and last week. You do get caught in the fact that you get used to winning. So, all of sudden, when you do lose one it's a bit of a shock, especially with the way we played. But I think it depends on how we take it and I think we'll take it the right way and use this to build off that – realize that we didn't play very well in Indianapolis.
"We didn't play great against Jacksonville a week earlier so we'll get back to basics – back to the small details that we have to continue to pay attention to and sometimes those get lax when you do go on a winning streak."
He went on to describe the game as a "wake-up call."
Now the 6-1 Broncos turn their attention to a Redskins team that is starting to heat up. Washington put up 45 points in a win against the Bears last week and quarterback Robert Griffin III posted his highest QB rating of the season.
Leading the Redskins is a coach that Elway is very familiar with and said that he has a lot of respect for.
Mike Shanahan had three different stints with the Broncos, once as the offensive coordinator, once as an offensive assistant and most recently a 14-season run as the head coach. During his time as Broncos' head coach, the Broncos were 138-86 and won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.
Sunday will be Shanahan's first time coaching from the visiting sideline in Denver.
"He's a very knowledgeable football coach – very smart, and very intelligent," Elway said. "He does a great job of putting the players – especially offensively – putting the players in the best position to win. He really molds his offense around the strengths of the people he has playing on the offensive side. That's why I appreciated playing for him because he did what I did best. He put me in the best situations I could be in to be successful and for the team to be successful. He has that ability to adjust and I think players appreciate that."
Getting win before their Week 9 bye would move the Broncos to 7-1 but Elway said there was a lot of work to do to get there. In order to get past Shanahan's Redskins the Broncos will need to eliminate the mistakes they made against the Colts.
"Number one is we can't turn the football over," Elway said. "We have to clean it up as far as the mistakes we're making with penalties. We just really have to clean it up. I don't know if we're going to be able to stop RG3 but we have to slow him down and we take advantage of everything that we're doing – every series we get on the offensive side, we're going to have to take advantage of it and try to get some points on the board.
"This is going to be a 60-minute game and they're a talented team. You know Mike will have something up his sleeve that we're going to have to be ready for."