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Denver Broncos president: Arrest apologies 'hollow'

The Denver Broncos are riding a wave of bad publicity following the revelation that two prominent front-office executives have been arrested on driving under the influence charges in the past month.

It's unclear how the team will choose to discipline director of pro personnel Tom Heckert and director of player personnel Matt Russell, but Broncos president Joe Ellis said Thursday that any apologies from the two men are not enough.

"We're not perfect. We've made our errors. We admit," Ellis told The Associated Press. "You can say we apologized for it -- but I think an apology rings hollow when you run into the back of a police car or you're blowing a blood-alcohol limit that's three times the legal limit. I don't think fans, I don't think the public, I don't think anybody wants to hear an apology."

"So, I think you have to acknowledge your mistakes and you have to fix them and you have to do that the right way," Ellis said. "There's a lot of things we do. We offer programs, we offer a lot of help, there's a ton of stuff the National Football League makes available to all the teams in an effort for them to avoid this kind of thing. In this case, we had two guys that couldn't do it. And that's just sad. That's too bad. But we're going to move on, and our hope is that you won't see this kind of incident from an employee again."

Ellis defended the Broncos' decision not to publicize Heckert's June 11 arrest, which wasn't revealed until this week.

"Well, we handle those things internally," Ellis said. "When they become external, then we deal with them. But we're not in the business of announcing those kinds of things before they need to be addressed. And we were in consultation with the league all along, and in terms of internal communication, everybody understood it. Everybody that was involved. Everybody that needed to know."

Both Heckert and Russell should consider themselves lucky if they escape this mess with their jobs.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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