ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** As the Broncos prepare to embark on a trip to Santa Clara, Calif., they finished the season's final practice at UCHealth Training Center with one last huddle on the field.
During that meeting, President and CEO Joe Ellis talked to the players and coaches about Owner Pat Bowlen, who is battling Alzheimer's Disease, giving an emotional speech about what Mr. Bowlen would say to the team with them one win away from a third Super Bowl for the franchise.
"I had Joe talk to the football team today before we called it a week about Mr. B, how he's doing and how he'd be very proud of this football team," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "It was a very good moment."
A look at Owner Pat Bowlen's 34 years with the Broncos.
Added cornerback Aqib Talib: "He was basically just saying what Pat would say to us with him not being able to join us and everything. He gave us a heartfelt speech."
For Mr. Bowlen, who cherishes the ability to give his team and his staff every opportunity to be the best at what they do, this shot to prove they're the best team in the NFL means a lot.
"It'd be wonderful," Talib said. "It would really mean everything to him if we would get to bring that trophy home to him."
Kubiak said they discuss Mr. Bowlen a lot, and that should come as no surprise given how the head coach has taken to one of the fundamental characteristics of Mr. Bowlen's leadership.
"[He's a] great people-person type of guy," Kubiak said. "Mr. B was one of us. I mean he was around here at practice, he was in the weight room and he was one of us. Mr. B always hired good people and he let them do their job. He supported you all the way."
As much as Mr. Bowlen has trusted everyone in the organization to do their jobs, so does Kubiak trust his players and his staff to do their jobs. "I think you just talk about accountability," Kubiak said. "That's the biggest thing. To get to this point in your football career, as a player and as a team, it's hard to get there. You just want to know that everybody is doing everything they possibly can for next Sunday."