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View Full Version : Who Is Running the Show in Denver?


dragondawg
05-18-2009, 07:53 PM
Much has been said about the turnover in the Denver Broncos organization this offseason. Unless you are living under a rock, you know that owner Pat Bowlen made the decisions to fire head coach Mike Shanahan, replace him with Josh McDaniels, fire Jim and Jeff Goodman, promote Brian Xanders to general manager, and trade Jay Cutler.

Or did he?

Earlier this month, I read an article by Woody Paige in the Denver Post entitled: "Bowlen unshaken on vision for Broncos", which can be viewed here. Paige spoke with Bowlen about the recent changes made in the Broncos front office in the off-season.

Among the many quotes from Bowlen in Paige's article, one garnered significant media attention.

"I have short-term memory loss. I know that some of the memories of the Superbowl Championships are fading."

This has led many to speculate as to how much Bowlen is in charge of his own faculties and how much his "memory loss" may have contributed to his decision-making.

Bowlen is the owner, president and chief executive of the Denver Broncos, but when it comes down to it, who is really making the decisions? Is Bowlen his own counsel in his decision-making, or does he have people advising him on such big decisions?

These are important questions to ask when a person starts to forget certain things. And we are not talking about grandma forgetting to take her pills here—there is an NFL franchise at stake.

Woody's article provided insight into these questions as well.

"Bowlen said that while he is involved in every facet of the organization, [Joe] Ellis, [the team's chief operating officer], his confidant, has been given more power in the restructuring since Shanahan was fired. "Joe is handling all the things I'm not particularly interested in, making more major decisions," he said.

"Ellis, who was director of marketing when Bowlen bought the majority ownership of the Broncos in 1984, has served in several executive capacities. He was named COO last year. Ellis, several sources say, was instrumental in getting Bowlen to agree to fire Shanahan, hire McDaniels (Ellis alone met with the new coach for a second interview) and trade Cutler."

This portion of Paige's article did not receive the same media attention as Bowlen's memory loss, yet it holds the answers as to who may be really making the decisions for the Denver Broncos organization.

Ellis has Bowlen's ear, and like Jaffar to the Sultan or Wormtongue to King Theodon, the chief adviser holds sway over the old man and may be the power behind the throne.

Woody pretty much said that: Ellis convinced Bowlen to fire Mike Shanahan, Ellis convinced Bowlen to hire Josh McDaniels, and in the end, Ellis convinced Bowlen to trade Jay Cutler.

Working his way up from director of marketing to chief operating officer over the past fifteen years, Ellis is now the man in power. Ellis is the one who is making the decisions regarding the fate of the Denver Broncos.

Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio noticed this as well, saying:

"One thing that has become abundantly clear in the wake of the termination of Mike Shanahan and the hiring of Josh McDaniels is that COO Joe Ellis (who?) has become one of the most powerful figures in the Broncos organization.

"And so Ellis is the latest in a line of (front office executives) who used a mastery of the intricate rules of the salary cap to position themselves to have significant influence over the football operation while having no accountability for on-field failure because, after all, they’re not football guys." (full article can be viewed here)

Ellis' rise to power has been at the expense of many notable people within the Bronocs organization including: Ted Sundquist, Shanahan, Jim Goodman, Jeff Goodman, Cutler, Andrew Mason (denverbroncos.com media guide).

Whether you agree with the changes that have been made or not, it is important to know who makes the calls and who pulls the strings. As fans who pour their hearts and souls in to their team, we need and deserve to know who is in charge.

And based on my read of what Woody Paige and Mike Florio have reported, Pat Bowlen makes the calls, but it is Joe Ellis pulling the strings.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/178222-who-is-running-the-show-in-denver

lex
05-18-2009, 07:58 PM
A marketing guy...thats nice. Bowlen really should sell the team. Like its really that hard to market an NFL team.

Dagmar
05-18-2009, 08:07 PM
Oh dear. This thread will be a treat.

Tombstone RJ
05-18-2009, 08:15 PM
I think Bowlen was tongue and cheek when he said he can't remember the SBs. It was a way for him to say, in a nice way, that those days are long gone and its time to start something new.

Inkana7
05-18-2009, 08:16 PM
A marketing guy...thats nice. Bowlen really should sell the team. Like its really that hard to market an NFL team.

Go tell that to Jacksonville.

broncosteven
05-18-2009, 08:22 PM
I doubt the Drunkards comments are literal. Maybe turn of phrase, I would guess the other NFL owners would have booted him from his various NFL committies if he were turning into Al Davis.

Garcia Bronco
05-18-2009, 08:29 PM
I think Bowlen was tongue and cheek when he said he can't remember the SBs. It was a way for him to say, in a nice way, that those days are long gone and its time to start something new.

Exactly.

DenverBrit
05-18-2009, 08:41 PM
So the evil Ellis is responsible for Mason's departure, ensuring that he would have a clear path to executive power. Ha!

Ellis' rise to power has been at the expense of many notable people within the Bronocs organization including: Ted Sundquist, Shanahan, Jim Goodman, Jeff Goodman, Cutler, Andrew Mason (denverbroncos.com media guide).

I love off-season, especially the spring when the cuckoos come out.

DenverBrit
05-18-2009, 08:42 PM
A marketing guy...thats nice. Bowlen really should sell the team. Like its really that hard to market an NFL team.

Yeah, really, when they could have had a bean counter. ;D

DenverBrit
05-18-2009, 08:42 PM
Exactly.


+1

DenverBrit
05-18-2009, 08:45 PM
The author. A real insider!!

Punkus's Bio

I'm an isane Broncos fan
- I want any and all info I can get on them every second of every day
- I obsess about the Draft, and love to talk sports.

I grew up in New York, Hate Yankees Fans. Yankees Suck!

Went to college in Philly, Hate Eagles Fans. Eagles always Choke!

Was a Utah Jazz fan as a kid.
- John Stockton and Karl Malone deserved to win a title
- Jordan stole it from them for his sixth ring when he fouled Byron Russel before hitting a game winning shot
Don't watch much Basketball anymore

Fan of the Syracuse Orangemen
2-3 zone, best defense in B-Ball when you run it right.

My Pop wasn't into sports when I was growing up. And Sports being the universal equalizer between boys and men alike I decided to choose my teams around 10 - 11yrs old ('93-'94). I chose my teams based on style of play (good coaches) and for quality players on those teams.

Hence the Jazz with Jerry Sloan, Stockton and Malone and the Denver Broncos with Elway, and McCaffrey.

rastaman
05-18-2009, 08:46 PM
I think Bowlen was tongue and cheek when he said he can't remember the SBs. It was a way for him to say, in a nice way, that those days are long gone and its time to start something new.

Point is, the Broncos have entered into years of uncertainty. One only need to look at when was the last time the 49ers have been to the SB, despite changing several coaches.

Bowlen's tongue and cheek moment could have been just a realization that this Bronco franchise could be headed back to the Broncos of the 60's, 70's, and 80's.

The Denver Broncos fans will need to adjust accordingly as well.

lex
05-18-2009, 08:47 PM
Yeah, really, when they could have had a bean counter. ;D

Whats the difference?

Typically, a lot of people who go into marketing defect from accounting or finance because they couldnt cut it. Marketing is the toy department of a business curriculum.

cutthemdown
05-18-2009, 08:54 PM
Yeah because Mike Florio always has good things to say about Broncos.

Florio a little weasel and obviously one of the sports bloggers who as a kid sucked at all sports because he was tiny and weak. He longed to belong with the jocks but was more like there little mascot. You know the kid who hangs with the jocks and sits on the bench all the time.

cutthemdown
05-18-2009, 08:55 PM
I like McDanials, I like the FA moves even though nothing big, I like the draft, I l like hiring Nolan and think a lot of the other asst coaches brought in seem more qualified then those hired by bowlen when Shanny had his ear.

So I just want to watch the next couple yrs and see what happens.

DenverBrit
05-18-2009, 08:56 PM
Whats the difference?

Typically, a lot of people who go into marketing defect from accounting or finance because they couldnt cut it. Marketing is the toy department of a business curriculum.


I have a marketing background, yet that hasn't stopped me from starting and running several successful businesses.

Marketing types do not have the bean counter mentality to sit and toil over accounts.......I have yet to meet a marketing peer who even considered accounting, let alone failed at it.

Far from not 'cutting it' they simply realize that the boredom of accounting isn't for them and end up doing something productive instead.
Like creating revenue so bean counters have a job. ;D

Lev Vyvanse
05-18-2009, 09:18 PM
I think people should put "(BLOG)" in the title of appropriate news posts. At least then I know the idiot writer had to at least jump through the hoops of getting a degree and gaining employment before I have to read his ****.

Kaylore
05-18-2009, 09:40 PM
This is very similar to a thread here
http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=80336

I predict this one will get just as long and bring nothing new to the discussion.

BroncoBuff
05-19-2009, 03:07 AM
I know Joe Ellis pretty well, he is a fun and funny guy, and I seriously doubt he's engaged in all these Machiavellian machinations to fire all these people.

Mike, with his shopping-mall sized house, his metropolis-sized ego, his insistence that Pat replace the "Paul Bowlen Memorial center," his insistence on retaining disgraced defensive coordinator Bob Slowick, and his three-year slide to mediocrity, all taken together spelled his end ... none of that is Joe Ellis's doing.

And as far as Cutler ... as sad as it is, he refused to call Pat back, and that would be a justifiable "last straw" for most owners. That too is definitely not Joe Ellis's fault.

NYBronco
05-19-2009, 04:06 AM
Good to see someone has the ability to step up and shake the cobwebs out.

gyldenlove
05-19-2009, 06:56 AM
Ellis may have more power than he used to, but I don't think he is the evil mastermind behind it all.

footstepsfrom#27
05-19-2009, 07:17 AM
I don't buy it. Bowlen's remarks about short term memory loss were tongue in cheek and had nothing to do with his mental faculties. He expressly said he's the guy in charge now and there's no way I believe the guy convinced him to do all this stuff. He might be sitting in meetings and discussing options but unless Bowlen's suddenly lost his marbles, he's not going to be simply handing the keys to the kingdom over to one of his minnions.

For good or bad...this is his responsibility and nobody elses.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
05-19-2009, 07:23 AM
Thank goodness we have this thread on the board. Can't wait to see the haters jump all over themselves to respond with inanity.

Steve Prefontaine
05-19-2009, 07:35 AM
"Bowlen said that while he is involved in every facet of the organization, [Joe] Ellis, [the team's chief operating officer], his confidant, has been given more power in the restructuring since Shanahan was fired. "Joe is handling all the things I'm not particularly interested in, making more major decisions," he said.

Pat is not interested in making major decisions?

Meck77
05-19-2009, 08:10 AM
Can Joe throw the rock?

BroncoBuff
05-19-2009, 08:30 AM
"I have short-term memory loss. I know that some of the memories of the Superbowl Championships are fading."
That's not what "short-term memory loss" is. You'd think that if he had been diagnosed officially, he would know better what he's talking about.


I don't buy it. Bowlen's remarks about short term memory loss were tongue in cheek and had nothing to do with his mental faculties.Yes, that's probably the correct explanation.

Chris
05-19-2009, 09:26 AM
He cut Andrew Mason!

alkemical
05-19-2009, 11:26 AM
I don't buy it. Bowlen's remarks about short term memory loss were tongue in cheek and had nothing to do with his mental faculties. He expressly said he's the guy in charge now and there's no way I believe the guy convinced him to do all this stuff. He might be sitting in meetings and discussing options but unless Bowlen's suddenly lost his marbles, he's not going to be simply handing the keys to the kingdom over to one of his minnions.

For good or bad...this is his responsibility and nobody elses.

As for his health, Bowlen said he is not slowing down or slacking off. "My health is excellent, for a guy my age, although I'm not going to do any more triathlons."

The owner paused and said: "I have short-term memory loss. I know that some of the memories of the Super Bowl championships are fading."

Asked if he was concerned about the memory loss worsening, Bowlen said:

"Not really. It comes with age."

Bowlen is seeking new memories. "I love what I'm doing. I'm enjoying this offseason more than I have in a long time."