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Trophy brought 'big smile' to Pat Bowlen's face

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the Denver Broncos' coaches, scouts and personnel executives move through the hallways at Lucas Oil Stadium this week, or through the downtown convention center or even in line for coffee, they don't wait long before one of their peers says "congratulations" on the Super Bowl 50 win.

Consider it some of the perks of the title. But Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway said at the league's scouting combine he did take care of an important piece of post-Super Bowl business before the Broncos arrived in Indianapolis.

Elway recently paid a visit to Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and brought the Lombardi Trophy along to show Bowlen. On the victory stand following the Broncos' 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers earlier this month, Elway had said "this one's for Pat."

"I went over there three or four days after the Super Bowl, had the trophy over there," Elway said at the combine. "So, he was sitting by it, so it was good to get over to see him. He had a big smile on his face so he was in a good spot."

Bowlen, who has Alzheimer's disease, stepped away from the day-to-day operations from the Broncos just before the 2014 season. Team president Joe Ellis has consistently said Bowlen "would tell you that he loved this team, he loved everything that they were about, their resolve and their grit, their determination and the way they finished."

Super Bowl 50 was the Broncos' third Super Bowl win and was the team's seventh trip to the title game in Bowlen's tenure. The Broncos won 11 games this season -- regular season and playoffs combined -- by seven or fewer points, a single-season record.

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak had Ellis speak to the Broncos players about Bowlen the day before the team left for California the week before the Super Bowl.

Members of Bowlen's family used Skype immediately following the Super Bowl to show Bowlen the on-field trophy presentation and celebration.

"We all know what it means to [Bowlen]," said cornerback Chris Harris Jr. "...He built what we want to keep going."