ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — If there was one constant in the responses of the Denver Broncos' eight draft picks after they were selected, it was pride. Pride in their achievements, but more so pride in the organization they have been selected to represent.
Each player mentioned something regarding the winning tradition set forth by legendary owner Pat Bowlen and now carried out by team vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway.
It may sound cliche, but you don't get that everywhere. Some places are trying to get back to winning tradition that has evaded the franchise for decades; some are trying to instill winning tradition for the first time. Not in Denver. In Denver, you have the pressure of continuing a winning tradition that has been in place for decades.
The players understand that and first-round pick Garett Bolles does not take it lightly. On Friday, during rookie mini-camp, Bolles was asked about his 'Welcome to the Broncos' moment, and that pride came out.
“Just putting on that helmet," he explained. "When you have the Bronco on the side of your helmet, that’s awesome. When you put on the Blue & Orange, that’s special. We have the greatest fans... When you put on that helmet, you have to wear it proud. You’ve got to be proud to be a Bronco... We have such great teammates, and it’s such a great organization. It’s a dream come true to be here.”
That pride, the self-applied pressure will go a long way in Broncos Country.
"Coming here and having the Broncos organization and [Owner] Mr. [Pat] Bowlen," he said. "The foundation that he has set and all these coaches here, they gave me a chance. I’m just here and so excited and grateful to be here... This is a great organization. This is a special place... It’s just awesome. I’m just so grateful to be here. I just want to continue to work hard, show those vets I’m ready to play and get to their level.”
Garett Bolles has a long way to go to reach the level on the field that the organization is hoping for, but he certainly has the right mindset.