Skip to content

Broncos president: “We’re not perfect, we’ve made our errors”

Broncos Heckert Arrest Football AP

Broncos president Joe Ellis is acknowledging that the team has some atoning to do after two of its top front office executives were busted for driving drunk.

“We’re not perfect. We’ve made our errors. We admit it. You can say we apologized for it — but I think an apology rings hollow when you run into the back of a police car or you’re blowing a blood-alcohol limit that’s three times the legal limit. I don’t think fans, I don’t think the public, I don’t think anybody wants to hear an apology,” Ellis told the Associated Press.

Ellis said that after Broncos director of pro personnel Tom Heckert and director of player personnel Matt Russell were both busted for driving drunk, the team realized it has a problem.

“So, I think you have to acknowledge your mistakes and you have to fix them and you have to do that the right way,” Ellis said. “There’s a lot of things we do. We offer programs, we offer a lot of help, there’s a ton of stuff the National Football League makes available to all the teams in an effort for them to avoid this kind of thing. In this case, we had two guys that couldn’t do it. And that’s just sad. That’s too bad. But we’re going to move on and our hope is that you won’t see this kind of incident from an employee again.”

A question the Broncos still haven’t answered is why they didn’t, as Ellis said, “think you have to acknowledge your mistakes” after Heckert’s DUI in June. Heckert’s arrest slipped under the radar and the Broncos didn’t say anything about it until reporters uncovered it a month later — after Russell had also been arrested. If the Broncos are such firm believers in acknowledging mistakes, it’s odd that they didn’t acknowledge Heckert’s mistake.

It’s also odd that John Elway, the front office boss who oversees both Heckert and Russell in Denver, has still said nothing publicly about their arrests. If the team wants to make a strong statement that it’s taking this matter seriously, the most prominent member of the front office should be the one making that statement.

The truth, however, is that there’s not much Elway, Ellis, Heckert or Russell can say right now. Ellis is right: When two top team executives are driving drunk, apologies after the fact ring hollow.

Permalink 58 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Denver Broncos, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
58 Responses to “Broncos president: “We’re not perfect, we’ve made our errors””
  1. Milehighmagic58 says: Jul 11, 2013 9:02 PM

    At least he wasn’t wearing a Dolphins hat.

  2. fearthehoody says: Jul 11, 2013 9:02 PM

    Bill Pollian and the Dolphins Organization both confirmed Heckert and Russell were not on their Front office draft boards

  3. ravensbob says: Jul 11, 2013 9:03 PM

    They have been in the tank since Tucker’s kick in double overtime.

  4. blackandbluedivision says: Jul 11, 2013 9:06 PM

    You’re also not special either. If your players have to apologize for simple tweets, you need to do the same.

  5. elliotlc says: Jul 11, 2013 9:09 PM

    Russell has been with the broncos since 2009 before elway became the vp and he has a good track record at work and he has been promoted by elway and company because of it. Heckert seems to be a joke not a great track record and was brought in by elway

  6. bennyb82 says: Jul 11, 2013 9:12 PM

    We’ve made our errors. We admit it. You can say we apologized for it — but I think an apology rings hollow when you run into the back of a police car or blow 3 times the legal limit…or take a knee in the playoffs with the score tied and being led by one of the best qbs to ever play.

  7. SparkyGump says: Jul 11, 2013 9:12 PM

    Set an example and suspend them without pay. DUI isn’t funny anymore. Too many innocent people have been harmed by drunk drivers.

  8. prosb4hos says: Jul 11, 2013 9:13 PM

    As Trump would say: “You’re fired!”

  9. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 11, 2013 9:13 PM

    As befitting a man of his position, Tom wore a clean white shirt and had his hair trimmed for the photo.

  10. koolaidcircusbeast says: Jul 11, 2013 9:16 PM

    I bet it wouldn’t be too odd that old Johnny Boy was likely drinking with one of these individuals the night of their arrests. Hence, why it hasn’t come from the horses’ mouth.

  11. nunezmc says: Jul 11, 2013 9:25 PM

    Fire them.

    Our players are setting a better precedent than our front office.

    I’m embarrassed in a special kind of way.

  12. bat42boy says: Jul 11, 2013 9:26 PM

    As l said previously they should both be fired. That would go a long way to solve the Broncos problem. There are other football executives who could do just as good as job as these two have done and won’t get drunk and then drive. That’s my solution!!

  13. funktron2x says: Jul 11, 2013 9:27 PM

    Everyday, regular old people get busted driving while drunk. Should their employers all apologize and take the heat? Two guys made the same idiot mistake millions of others do. And our reaction to it because omg football is not a lot smarter.

  14. pats777 says: Jul 11, 2013 9:30 PM

    Still waiting on Elway for the trifecta!

  15. commonsensedude says: Jul 11, 2013 9:31 PM

    A question the Broncos still haven’t answered is why they didn’t, as Ellis said, “think you have to acknowledge your mistakes” after Heckert’s DUI in June.

    “So, I think you have to acknowledge your mistakes once they’ve been discovered and made public …”

  16. outlawshark says: Jul 11, 2013 9:33 PM

    There is a precedent for this regarding the Broncos front office. It took a while before Denver admitted to cheating the salary cap in both their Super Bowl winning years. Why admit it unless there is enough evidence to drag it out of you?

  17. vr30 says: Jul 11, 2013 9:38 PM

    Heckert kinda resembles the thing in Fantastic 4 to me

  18. thegonz13 says: Jul 11, 2013 9:39 PM

    “We’re not perfect”. I know, but do you have to stray THAT far from being beyond reproach?

  19. allhailkingflacco says: Jul 11, 2013 9:41 PM

    With a mug like the guy above, can’t really blame him for drinking to the point of being drunk.

    Dude has a face that only a mother could love. And that may be a reach.

  20. miles1981 says: Jul 11, 2013 9:42 PM

    I am not the face of my my employer, but if I got busted with DUI I’d be fired for it for putting them in that position. The NFL needs to get rid of these jokers……

  21. ravensbob says: Jul 11, 2013 9:43 PM

    The Stanford band thinks they should go.

  22. johndont says: Jul 11, 2013 9:45 PM

    We’ve made our errors, right. The last football game you played last year.

  23. loubearkane says: Jul 11, 2013 9:57 PM

    These two should be fired. The Josh Brent incident should still be fresh in every one’s mind. Then the PR hit from Hernandez and the countless others getting arrested. You are a multi-billion dollar business. You are superiors and should set examples. Yes there human and make mistakes but horrible timing on there parts. Will Goodell take action and suspend each the year? Would it have taken them killing someone? One had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit the other had one and half times the legal limit seven hours after the fact.

  24. rcali says: Jul 11, 2013 9:58 PM

    “To early for flap jacks?”

  25. truthfactory says: Jul 11, 2013 10:07 PM

    Why is there so much outrage in this article about the lack of the typical bland corporate statements teams usually give out after an arrest?

    Who cares, they contain no content, mean nothing, and serve no purpose…

  26. Ferdinand says: Jul 11, 2013 10:07 PM

    There are a ton of things the team can do by way of discipline. Why are they not doing anything other than clucking out, “Naughty, naughty!”

    How about suspending them without pay and making the completion of a drug and alcohol awareness/diversion class the ticket off suspension? At a bare minimum.

  27. abninf says: Jul 11, 2013 10:09 PM

    “If the Broncos are such firm believers in acknowledging mistakes, it’s odd that they didn’t acknowledge Heckert’s mistake.”
    ===================================

    They aren’t obligated to run to the media.

  28. grhopper says: Jul 11, 2013 10:09 PM

    As I’ve said before, there is zero tolerance in the schools for guns and sexual harassment. To allow these two guys to get away with nothing other then a total firing is an embarrassment to the franchise and the NFL. What kind of credibility do they have with their players?

    To do otherwise, then every player caught with a DUI, manslaughter, spousal/girlfriend abuse, etc. going forward should get off Scott free.

  29. steventimm says: Jul 11, 2013 10:15 PM

    Didn’t Elway have the same thing happen to him once upon a time? Maybe he’s ducking this because he has zero credibility here

  30. tfbuckfutter says: Jul 11, 2013 10:21 PM

    Look, I don’t want to be the one who actually says it….but we’re all surprised that guy didn’t have a dead hooker in his trunk when he got pulled over, right?

  31. moerawn says: Jul 11, 2013 10:40 PM

    They should still apologize for …schnaaps.

  32. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 11, 2013 10:41 PM

    Pilot Grounded Jimmy.

  33. upperdecker19 says: Jul 11, 2013 10:51 PM

    Cheers!!! I’ll drink to that!

  34. fubar5150 says: Jul 11, 2013 10:51 PM

    Do we really care people do this all the time that doesn’t make the organization bad get over it

  35. chiefsfaninla says: Jul 11, 2013 11:14 PM

    Raider move!!!

  36. phreakin says: Jul 11, 2013 11:24 PM

    they shoukd be suspended but not fired. you don’t abandon people that need help, they get them help and stand begind them. same thing I would hope any of your bosses would do with you.

  37. drunkenpackblogger says: Jul 11, 2013 11:34 PM

    Am I the only one that doesn’t care about these guys getting dui’s? The Denver Broncos are a first class organization and they have nothing to prove to the NFL that they should be considered anything less. Still hate them a lot after 1997, yet, they are still a great organization.

  38. skinsfan91 says: Jul 11, 2013 11:42 PM

    Skins are winning the SB this year, high character players FTW.

  39. rickyspanish says: Jul 11, 2013 11:42 PM

    fearthehoody

    That’s funny. Polian is a joke.

  40. wheels579 says: Jul 12, 2013 12:04 AM

    The NFL, just like all major sports leagues and society, simply don’t take drunk driving seriously enough. All these guys have to do is call a cab. The league even pays for it. There is no excuse whatsoever to get behind the wheel while impaired. Unfortunately nobody will begin to lose their jobs over it until some innocent people are killed and the NFL is forced to react to the bad publicity and staged outrage from ambulance chasers in Congress.

  41. jayniner says: Jul 12, 2013 1:42 AM

    Yeah, do you find it ironic that your “errors” started when you got rid of Tebow?

    Think about it….

  42. joetoronto says: Jul 12, 2013 5:49 AM

    “But we’re going to move on and our hope is that you won’t see this kind of incident from an employee again.”

    Ah, concern that we don’t SEE that kind of incident from an employee again.

    Got it, SMH.

  43. coachbeck says: Jul 12, 2013 6:57 AM

    He was used to drinking that much. When your the browns GM you need something to dull the senses. Doesn’t Denver have a car service ?

  44. Sanchezizgr8 says: Jul 12, 2013 7:16 AM

    Here is the problem: a player gets a DUI/DWI he gets suspended, before he’s even convicted at times. Why should a front office fellow not receive the same, if not stiffer penalties? This is just another example of the higher ups of an organization getting a double standard.

  45. bunjy96 says: Jul 12, 2013 7:28 AM

    It’s also odd that John Elway, the front office boss who oversees both Heckert and Russell in Denver, has still said nothing publicly about their arrests. If the team wants to make a strong statement that it’s taking this matter seriously, the most prominent member of the front office should be the one making that statement.

    /////

    Huh? Who cares about Elway. He is not the president. He has no business making any statement in this situation.

  46. randybutternubs79 says: Jul 12, 2013 7:45 AM

    These guys made a huge mistake!
    However you have a supposedly sober front office in New England that keeps signing players that do worse things!

  47. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jul 12, 2013 8:19 AM

    I totally disagree with funktron2x, these guys are in leadership positions! They are supposed to set the example for their players and staff, when a CEO at any company gets busted for a DUI, there are repercussions, in the military a commander loses rank and pretty much ends his career. That’s why this is a story, if it were a towel boy it probably would not have made the paper. Anyways, thats my rant for the day, do not expect any other intelligent conversation from me for the rest of the day as I will now only be dogging the rest of your all’s teams with my usual colorful insults and idiocy!!! Thanks for listening and God Bless!

  48. johndont says: Jul 12, 2013 8:28 AM

    Right, we’ve made our errors. How about the last football game you played. Broncos vs Baltimore

  49. BigBeachBall says: Jul 12, 2013 8:28 AM

    if they arent asked for resignations then that franchise deserves no ones respect…

  50. grpatriot says: Jul 12, 2013 8:54 AM

    I’m impressed, .284 is a high number… A Mile High a whole new level..

  51. brocattosbasement says: Jul 12, 2013 9:20 AM

    Beyond the fact that both of these guys make more than enough money to simply call a cab, don’t they realize they live in Colorado? If you need to get really buzzed, just smoke a little weed.

  52. somethingsmellsrotten says: Jul 12, 2013 10:37 AM

    Horseface hasn’t said anything because he’s a bigger drunk than both of them put together.

  53. whatnojets says: Jul 12, 2013 10:53 AM

    Just counting the days when Joe Ellis is busted for DUI!

  54. somethingsmellsrotten says: Jul 12, 2013 11:14 AM

    Another smug organization…very similar to that one in NE.

  55. snakeiz says: Jul 12, 2013 12:56 PM

    Just a minor communication breakdown.During interview Elway told Heckert & Russell ;you will report directly to the czar….what they heard was…you will report directly to the bar..

  56. raider316 says: Jul 12, 2013 1:03 PM

    I think its obvious the blame falls on their college coaches.
    Thats the way it works now isn’t it.

  57. prmpft says: Jul 12, 2013 2:05 PM

    man – this is beyond ridiculous…folks do stupid things everywhere! get ready for the blotter to be filled up w/ texters & pot smokers next…or people speaking out against an oppressive/invasive government – because it is coming! I have also found out as a lifelong SAINTS fan that winning breeds hatred (and false accusations) – so for NE/DEN fans – just tune it out…

  58. raiderapologist says: Jul 12, 2013 9:15 PM

    chiefsfaninla says: Jul 11, 2013 11:14 PM

    Raider move!!!
    ————–
    Appears to be a Bronco move to me, loser. Now, if one of these guys kills his girlfriend and then drives over to the facility and kills himself, you can definitely call that a Chief move.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!