Bowlen has lots to smile about


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Jan 22, 2006
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Bowlen has lots to smile about
Owner pleased with the Broncos' moves, especially in draft

By Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
May 24, 2006

With the draft and the bulk of the team's work in free agency largely done, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said he likes the look of the team's roster.
He was especially happy with draft-day moves that resulted in the Broncos landing a quarterback prospect (Jay Cutler) and a former Pro Bowl receiver (Javon Walker).

The Broncos traded up in the first round to take Cutler at No. 11 and traded a second-round pick to the Green Bay Packers to acquire Walker.

"I'm obviously very pleased with the draft," Bowlen said Tuesday. "We've had a week or so at looking at some of the new players. Time will tell how good the draft was, but in my 23 years, it ranks right up there among the top drafts we've had."

Bowlen said he was particularly pleased about acquiring Cutler because the team had not previously drafted higher than 15th during coach Mike Shanahan's tenure.

"So for us, it was exciting because we never really have - let's put it this way - those opportunities don't come along very often," Bowlen said. "I thought Mike and our guys did a great job.

"We had (Cutler) very highly rated. I always hope we're not picking first in the draft. You'd like to pick first every year, you just don't want to go through the machinations to get into that position, so it was a unique opportunity for us."

Bowlen also said he believes Broncos assistant general manager Rick Smith has a good chance to be hired as Houston Texans general manager "because he's good and he's worked hard to get there."

NO CHANGES: The league's competition committee informed the owners it would not recommend any exceptions be made for players to wear jersey numbers that do no conform to the league's rules.

As a result, New Orleans Saints rookie running back Reggie Bush will not be able to wear No. 5. Bush had asked the league to make an exception so he could wear the number he wore with the University of Southern California.

Running backs are allowed to wear numbers in the 20s, 30s or 40s. The most recent changes in the rules came two off-seasons ago, when the league voted to allow receivers to wear Nos. 11 through 19 as well as those in the 80s.

"Nobody's comfortable that there should be any exceptions made to the policy . . . ," said Atlanta Falcons general manager Rich McKay, a co-chairman of the competition committee. "And there is no real sentiment on the committee that there will ever be a change in the system."

ETC.: The owners also discussed the search for a replacement for commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Tagliabue has announced his retirement and originally said he would be on the job until July. But with the current pace of the search - the executive search firm has interviewed most of the owners but no formal list of candidates has been assembled - some believe Tagliabue might be on the job longer. "I'll let you know in July," Tagliabue said. "I don't have my track shoes on to run out of the office on the 31st of July. I'm healthy, working hard, enjoying looking forward to doing other things at some point in my adult life." . . . Representatives of the Kansas City Chiefs once again discussed a proposal to expand the number of teams in the playoffs, but the Chiefs asked the measure to be tabled and no vote was taken.,2777,DRMN_23918_4722466,00.html
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