John Elway pays respects to mentor, friend Pat Bowlen

John Elway and Pat Bowlen were one of the most iconic QB-owner pairings in NFL history.
Bowlen, along with his siblings, purchased the Broncos franchise in 1984 — a year after Denver forced the league-altering exchange with all the then-Baltimore Colts to acquire Elway. The two then proceeded to combine for five Super Bowl appearances and two championships during Elway’s Hall of Fame career on the field, and then added an addition Super Bowl title in 2015 when Elway oversaw the team within an exec.
Bowlen died Thursday at age 75 after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, three years later that last title, and three years after Elway dedicated the win to his longtime friend and mentor by announcing”This one’s for Pat!”
Elway paid his respects to Bowlen Friday.
“Pat gave me and he was a person that I always looked around,” Elway said in a statement Friday morning. “He gave this group what we needed to be the best and compete for championships, and also the focus was always on football. That’s all you can ask for in an owner — he did . He was a tremendous mentor and a huge friend. Pat was a great listener, always asking what was happening, and I learned a lot from observing him. He had been a leader that is great. Whether things were moving right or things were not going right, he’d always let you know what we had to acquire much better.
“He did a great job of applying pressure at the appropriate times but always trusted his football people to make the proper decisions. Other than his family, nothing meant more to Pat than ensuring that the Denver Broncos were powerful. What he did for this team, this city and the entire NFL will never be matched. His shoes won’t ever be filled.
“I will miss Pat greatly and will always treasure the times we had together. We are going to continue to take care of his group as if he had been here now. My deepest sympathies are with Annabel and also the entire Bowlen family”
Bowlen will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame together with the 2019 class this August at Canton, Ohio.

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