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President and CEO Ellis following Mr. Bowlen's lead at NFL meetings

NFL annual meeting news

"What would Pat do?"

That's the question that Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis has asked himself this week at the league's annual meeting in Phoenix this week. Owner Pat Bowlen stepped back from the day-to-day operations in the summer of 2014 to focus on fighting Alzheimer's Disease, with Ellis stepping up in his stead.

"I think about how he would have felt about issues, what he would have said about issues, and I sort of feel like it's my duty to carry out what his wishes were," Ellis said in an interview with Broncos TV on Wednesday. "It's just a shame that he's not there to talk about that and engage in really healthy, vibrant conversations about league issues anymore. So we just try to do the right thing. That's always what he wanted to do and represent ourselves appropriately."

The league comes together every year to address various topics, from proposals to change rules to issues the league faces off the field. This is the first year Ellis has been the Broncos' representative at the meetings, a role that Mr. Bowlen held for three decades, helping push the NFL to new heights, especially in spearheading the league's television broadcast growth.

"Here, at the league meetings, he had such a presence with the NFL and his work that he did on the broadcast committee for so many years heading that up and taking all of our television broadcast to new levels and our contracts with the networks to new levels," Ellis said. "...A lot of hard work on the management council executive committee dealing with labor issues for so many years, dealing with the stadium committee, he worked there with the finance committee, and to not have him involved the way he was, it's just difficult to sit in the meetings and not have him there at our side."

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