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Denver's Foxworth: 'Gene was our leader'

Posted by ESPN.com' s Bill Williamson

It was a hectic morning for key members of the players' union, in the wake of NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw's death Wednesday night from pancreatic cancer.

The executive committee has had several conference calls today with more planned in the coming days, said member Domonique Foxworth of the Denver Broncos.

"Nobody knew anything until today," said the Denver cornerback. "We all found out by watching the TV."

Foxworth said he was told Upshaw found out about his pancreatic cancer after he went to see a physician recently because of a hip injury he suffered by playing golf.

"It's such a sad day for us," Foxworth said. "Gene was our leader."

Foxworth admitted he was among the players who had occasional "run ins" with Upshaw and Foxworth said earlier this year that he understood a movement that was trying to find a potential successor for Upshaw.

"We had our differences and our run ins, that was Gene's personality," Foxworth said. "But ultimately, he was a good leader and he did numerous great things for our players over the years. We are all better off for having Gene as our leader."