In recently addressing the job security of coach Josh McDaniels and other issues relating to the franchise, Broncos COO Joe Ellis explained that owner Pat Bowlen has decided to step back from the spotlight and allow Ellis to speak on behalf of team management.
As explained by Alan Prendergast of Denver Westword, there’s evidence that Bowlen’s low profile arises from health problems.
For example, Woody Paige of the Denver Post recently had this to say regarding the long-time owner’s status: “Bowlen stood
quietly on the sideline at the end of the loss Sunday night and did not
talk to the media afterward. He has medical issues, and is maintaining a
much lower profile (read: no profile at all) this season.”
Per Predergast, Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth disputed Paige’s contention. “Mr. Bowlen is heavily involved in all matters of the organization and
remains a key figure on several NFL committees,” Smyth told Prendergast via e-mail. “He does, however, maintain a less visible
role with regard to interviews and media appearances.”
Citing two unnamed sources, Prendergast reports that Ellis is “now the team’s major decision maker on most, if not all, key financial
and management questions.”
It remains to be seen whether Bowlen has chosen to assume a lower profile, or whether his health has forced him to step aside, with the organization trying to create the impression that Bowlen has opted to stand in the background. For fans, the far bigger concern is that the team stinks right now, and it doesn’t really matter much how it got to this point.