ATLANTA — When Terrell Davis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he dedicated part of his induction speech to Owner Pat Bowlen's Hall of Fame candidacy.
"Let's make sure this champion is enshrined," Davis said in August of 2017.
Seventeen months later, Davis believes Bowlen is set to be elected as part of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2019.
"He's certainly getting in, and I feel real confident that the committee will see fit that he gets through this year," Davis said Wednesday in Atlanta. "I look forward to seeing that. It's going to be fun to celebrate that."
Bowlen, one of two Contributor Committee nominees, is a finalist for this year's class and would be elected if he receives 80 percent of the vote during Saturday's selection process.
"I'm excited about it," Davis said. "In my [Hall of Fame] speech, I mentioned that I've been looking forward to seeing him in there. I knew he would get there, it [was] just a matter of when. So I feel like this is the year for him. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to the city of Denver [and] it means a lot to the Broncos."
Davis, who now works has an analyst for NFL Network, pointed to the network's growth as just one example of Bowlen's impact.
"The resume for him speaks for itself," Davis said. "One of the … winningest franchises in sports. Obviously three Lombardi trophies and what he's done for the NFL Network and his advocacy for the NFL and really growing this game, it's really been unmatched."
To Davis, though, Bowlen was more than the team's owner. Davis said Bowlen helped him through difficult times — like when Davis tore his ACL and Bowlen was the first to call after surgery — and celebrated with him in times of triumph. And that would make his election all the more special.
"Anybody who knows Pat Bowlen knows the owner title doesn't quite describe who he is," Davis said. "Pat was more than just an owner, he was a friend of mine."