John Elway gets a ton of credit for the Denver Broncos' rise from the NFL ashes - and rightfully so. There is another rising star in the Broncos front office, however, that is beginning to get some attention. His name is Matt Russell.
The San Diego Chargers, looking for a new General Manager after A.J. Smith was fired on Monday, asked the Broncos for permission to interview Russell, the team's director of player personnel. The Broncos refused.
While it is easy to assume the Broncos simply didn't want Russell to take over a team in the AFC West, it is rare for a team to block the advancement of anyone - even if it is within the division. There are reports swirling, however, that it was Russell that asked the Broncos to decline any interview requests.
"I've got the best owner in sports here (Pat Bowlen) and the best boss in John Elway," Russell said. "I want to be part of something special in the state I love."
Russell is no stranger to Colorado. A former All-American and Butkus Award winner (nation's best linebacker) at the University of Colorado, Russell joined the Broncos after scouting for seven seasons in the NFL with Philadelphia (2006-08) and New England (2001, ‘03-05) Russell was hired by the Broncos in 2009 as the director of college scouting.
He was promoted in January 2012 to director of player personnel.