ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – During Commissioner Roger Goodell's town hall meeting in Denver, he praised President/CEO Joe Ellis and the trust set up by Owner Pat Bowlen for the way in which they've managed the Broncos' ownership.
"The Broncos are in compliance. They're actually being very well run, and our membership is very happy with that," Goodell said to the local media in attendance. "It's consistent with the way Pat wanted it done. Pat had outlined that exactly the way it's operating."
On a brisk, windy morning, the Broncos brought their best as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell heads to camp for practice and a fan forum afterward. (photos by Gabriel Christus, unless noted)
At a panel discussion with nearly 150 Broncos fans, Goodell recognized Bowlen's foresight in arranging a trust.
"He's established a system with Joe Ellis and the trust that I think has done a terrific job," Goodell said.
In Goodell's time with the league, he spent years interacting with Bowlen, who held a number of instrumental roles with the league in addition to his day-to-day work with the Broncos.
Bowlen served on nine league committees, including as chairman of the television committee and co-chair of the management council executive (labor) committee.
"I had the good fortune of working very closely with Pat Bowlen," Goodell said. "He was incredibly involved with league matters, and I think I spoke to him almost every day. I got a real appreciation of what he contributed, but also I had a really good understanding of what was important to him. And the Broncos and the way they did things was really obviously at the top of his list.
"They keep the real key people, like [President of Football Operations/GM] John [Elway] and the others that are going to ensure that this team still represents this community the way Pat wanted it to be represented," Elway said. "They still work on winning – winning with class.
"I think the ownership has done an excellent job, including Joe and others, of really being active in league matters. John is on our competition committee. He's making an enormous contribution there. Joe's on several of our committees, and I think that would make Pat proud."