For the second time this week, the Broncos have had to issue a stronger version of the normal “we’re aware of the situation” statement so many teams use when a player gets in trouble.
“We were made aware of the matter involving Tom Heckert immediately after it occurred and promptly notified the league office,” the team’s statement read. “His arrest is extremely upsetting, and this situation is being handled internally as well as in coordination with NFL policies.
“Tom’s actions are obviously part of a disturbing pattern of irresponsible behavior that we are aggressively addressing within our organization.
“One member of the Broncos arrested for driving under the influence is one too many. This type of behavior puts innocent people at risk and cannot be tolerated. While our team and league supply plenty of resources to prevent these situations, it is clear we need to do better.
“We are thoroughly reviewing the procedures we have in place and will do whatever it takes to enhance their effectiveness going forward.”
The Broncos added a statement from Heckert as well, who accepted responsibility for the arrest.
“I am extremely disappointed that in my short time with the Broncos I have made such a serious mistake,” he said. “My actions last month have brought embarrassment to the organization, and I fully understand the consequences that are involved. I am truly sorry and take complete responsibility for this situation.
“Although I have let many people down, I will learn from this and work toward regaining the trust that I have lost.”
He’s not the only one who’ll have to do that.
Owner Pat Bowlen needs to make sure this trend stops now, and executive John Elway needs to be the one enforcing it.
Because front office members are subject to the same personal conduct policy as players, they will doubtless get an assist from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in spreading that message as well.