ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos closed their last practice at their suburban Denver complex before they depart for the Bay Area on Sunday with a reminder about why those who make decisions for the Broncos do what they do.
Team president/CEO Joe Ellis spoke to the team following Saturday’s practice about Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. Bowlen, who is battling Alzheimer’s Disease, stepped away from the team’s day-to-day operations in the summer of 2014. The Broncos now have a locker room full of players who may not have ever met the man who Ellis and executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway say is at the root of every decision the team makes.
When Ellis finished making his remarks, the players applauded loudly before going into the locker room.
"(Ellis) talked about Mr. B, how he was doing and how he would be proud of this football team," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said.
Bowlen was inducted into the team’s Ring of Fame earlier this season. Super Bowl 50 will be the Broncos’ seventh Super Bowl appearance under Bowlen’s ownership. The team has been to a record-tying eight Super Bowls overall.
"Mr. B was one of us, out here at practice, in the weight room," Kubiak said.
The Broncos went through their regular-season schedule this past week in terms of meetings and practice times. Kubiak said he wanted the team to leave Denver on Sunday as if it could play the Super Bowl this week.
Kubiak said the Broncos will stick to their usual game-week schedule during practices at Stanford, but since so much was done this past week, he may adjust how much time the team spends on the practice field.
"Boy, we had a really good week, guys are really focused," Kubiak said. " … We’ll stay in our routine, but we’ll probably be a little shorter. Hopefully we’re short and very sharp … I want them relaxed."
The Broncos also tied up one loose end in practice this week when they used music blaring out of the loudspeakers around the practice field when the offense had the ball.
Several Broncos who were on the roster in 2013 have said they didn’t practice with noise prior to the 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. And crowd noise in MetLife Stadium from the Seahawks fans impacted the Broncos’ first play from scrimmage in that game, when Manny Ramirez's snap simply flew past quarterback Peyton Manning.
The play resulted in a safety, and things never did really get any better for the Broncos for the remainder of the game.
"We’re practicing with noise … Peyton mentioned that to me," Kubiak said. "So we took the approach this week to practice with noise."