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'It's great to get that feedback': Owner & CEO Greg Penner pleased with improvements in NFLPA survey as Broncos continue to invest in player experience


ORLANDO, Fla. After receiving high marks and seeing improvement in a number of categories in the second annual NFLPA survey, Owner & CEO Greg Penner said the Broncos will look to continue to build on their success.

Denver improved four spots in its overall ranking, and the Broncos ranked in the top 10 in team travel, food/cafeteria and nutritionist/dietician.

"With positive improvements over the prior year, it's great to get that feedback," Penner said Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting. "… We learned some things last year, and we acted on that."

The Broncos invested in their sports performance program through both the training room and nutrition staff, and players recognized the improvements via the survey.

"We take it really seriously about how our players feel about coming into the building every day," Penner said. "[Owner] Carrie [Walton Penner] mentioned it on the first day that we took ownership: We want to be the best team to play for, to work for and to cheer for."

Penner, Walton Penner and the rest of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group also received high marks, as the Broncos were assigned an A grade and ranked fifth among all ownership groups. Penner also received a 9.6 out of 10 rating in regards to the ownership group's willingness to invest in facilities. Over the last 12 months, the Broncos invested more than $100 million in upgrades to Empower Field at Mile High, replaced the playing surface on multiple occasions and announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art training facility.

On Monday, Penner announced another investment into player health and safety, as he revealed the team will replace the turf in its indoor field house.

"It's about 10 years old," Penner said. "I believe the life of it was intended to be about 20 years, but we're going to replace it with a state-of-the-art artificial surface that's going to be better for our players with more padding and a different material. It is something that they should really feel the impact of during our practices."

Penner said the decision was made in consultation with Head Coach Sean Payton and Vice President of Player Health and Performance Beau Lowery.

"We knew we're going to make a change at some point, so why not go ahead and do that now if it's better for our players?" Penner said.

As the Broncos look toward future improvements, Penner said there are "still a couple of things that we've got to do better." The construction of a new facility will help alleviate concerns from the survey about the size of the locker room and weight room, while Penner said the team is currently exploring possibilities for a family room at Empower Field at Mile High, which was another area for improvement on the survey.

The Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group's commitment to the player experience is clear to President Damani Leech.

"I think we're really proud to see the improvements that we've made in terms of our facilities, the resources committed to our players, to really see that reflected in the survey results," Leech said. "… We take it seriously. Ownership takes it seriously. We have a great relationship with our players. [We look for] opportunities for myself, coaches, obviously, and ownership to engage with them directly and talk about their experiences for them, for their families and look for ways to make things better."

And though the Broncos have made great strides, Penner emphasized the work will not stop.

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