ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There was a sense of both excitement and relief on Broncos President Joe Ellis' face this afternoon as he met with the media to discuss the end of the NFL lockout and the start of the 2011 football season.
But the long hours of difficult negotiations are now a thing of the past - for at least another 10 years - after the NFL and NFLPA agreed on a new CBA which won't expire until 2021.
"Ten years is a lot of stability," Ellis said. "I think it's great for players, I think it's great for the organizations and I think it's really great for the fans."
It has been a day of celebration for the NFL and its fans, and according to Ellis there is plenty to be excited about regarding the league's future with a fair compromise finally reached.
"The players got some things they were looking for, the owners got some issues taken care of that they were looking for," Ellis said. "I think it's a win-win situation."
Now, after a league-wide victory off the field, the Broncos will now begin the process of getting some more wins on it.
Coming off a disappointing 4-12 season, Ellis was asked what his expectations are for the 2011-12 Broncos and he was quick to respond with the annual, unwavering 16-0 expectation from Owner and CEO Pat Bowlen.
"That's his yearly prediction," Ellis said. "I don't make predictions because you never know what happens, but the goal will be to play hard every game and (Head Coach) John Fox will tell you it's to win every game as well.
"Expectations are going to be high."
In his first year as Broncos head coach, Fox has been waiting patiently for his chance to meet his new team and those high expectations. That process gets underway at 8 a.m. Tuesday, when players can return to the team facility.
Some pundits have speculated that teams with new coaching staffs will struggle due to the fact that coaches and players have been without contact throughout the offseason. But Ellis says he's confident that a veteran leader in Fox - who is entering his 10th year as an NFL head coach -- will have the team fully prepared and ready to compete.
"We have some experience there. I think that's going to be helpful," Ellis said of the Broncos' veteran coaching staff, who will meet the first batch of players at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. "John Fox has been (around) a long time. He knows what he wants to do, and he and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) John Elway and the coaching staff put together a good plan to get everybody prepared for the season.
"I don't think either of them would use the fact that this is being pushed at them at the 11th hour - or 12th hour - as a crutch. We expect to get out and perform well, get through the preseason games and evaluate the team along the way and be ready to play on September 12 at home against the Raiders."