Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Visit to Bronco Headquarters

Tonight I had the opportunity to visit the Denver Broncos Headquarters at Dove Valley with the Denver Broncos Quarterback Club.

The Broncos are doing lots of renovations to their facility.  Here's a picture of the new lobby area:

The trophy case is much bigger than when I visited last year.

The Broncos two Lombardi trophies highlight the display.  Plenty of room to add more of these - how about another one in February?!

In front of the Lombardi trophies were the Broncos two championship rings.  Here's a closeup of one:

After some time in the lobby, we were escorted to another building to be in the audience for the Broncos Huddle weekly TV show taping.  Along the way we got a view of the practice field.  Notice the hill where the fans sit during training camp.  This area has been extended and all the trees have been removed. 

The new indoor practice facility, completed in November, towers over the complex.  Joe Ellis of the Broncos later told us this is one of the most modern indoor facilities in the NFL, with a full 120 yard practice field and 9 yards of space on the sidelines.

Then it was back inside for the Broncos Huddle taping.  We sat in the audience and listened to Channel 9's Rod Mackey and player host Emmanuel Sanders talk about last week's game.

The player guest on this week's show was Broncos running back CJ Anderson.  Here CJ demonstrates to us how he carries the football to avoid fumbles.

Mackey asked Sanders how it liked the run oriented offense the last two games.  "I love it!" Sanders replied.  "CJ brings another dimension to the offense," Sanders said.  CJ received lots of praise from Mackey and Sanders, and responded humbly, "Give it to the big fellas up front.  I try to run to the open space they create."  CJ said he's not the fastest guy, but "I like to be nasty in my running style.  This is what you are going to get for 60 minutes."  Sanders said, "That's the type of running back you want in the cold games of December and January, where the defenses are wearing down."

Sanders remarked how CJ worked hard in practice early in the season despite not seeing much playing time.  Sanders asked CJ if he had any advice for youngsters watching.  "Your dreams never die until you give up on them," CJ said.

After the TV recording finished, Broncos President Joe Ellis came out for a special question and answer session just for members of the Quarterback Club.  I asked him if the renovations will be ready for training camp next summer.  "Yes," Ellis replied, "we want the fans back for training camp."  Ellis went on to say there will be more room for fans, with a new concession area and bigger team store.  Fans will get to peek through the glass of the indoor practice facility, too.

Ellis was asked the status of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.  "He's doing the best he can.  His Alzheimers is now in an advanced stage and it is difficult for him and his family." Ellis replied.

Ellis told us the renovations included a new kitchen.  The Broncos no longer have to bring in catered food.  Rather they have their own chefs now and cook everything on site.

Ellis answered other questions.  He recognized our club's 50th anniversary this year.  How often do you get a chance to meet with the President of an NFL franchise in a small group setting?  The Denver Broncos Quarterback club gave me that opportunity tonight!

Overall it was a fun and informative evening to get a behind the scenes look at how the Broncos operate.

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