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Greg Penner: ‘I want to personally apologize to our fans’

Broncos Country has an official apology from the new team’s owner after a horrific 2022 season.

San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos are back for another head coaching search. This will be their ninth head coach since Mike Shanahan or one every other year or so. With that back-drop, new owner Greg Penner put forth a message of disappointment with an apologetic tone.

“When we purchased this great franchise in August, this was not the season we were expecting,” Penner said on Tuesday. “It has been a season that’s disappointing for our fans and not what they deserve. Their loyalty and support through these difficult seasons have been incredible. I want to personally apologize to our fans and all of Broncos Country. We know that we need to be better, and we will.

“The Denver Broncos are a proud franchise with a rich history and a winning tradition. As owners, it’s incumbent on us to have high expectations, set a high standard, and ensure there is accountability. We talked about that at the beginning of the season. It was true then, and it is true now. It is also important for us to be realistic about where we are and the work that needs to be done.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve had these kinds of words and sentiment expressed. Former President & CEO Joe Ellis also echoed similar apologetic sentiment over the years as the team wandered from one quarterback to the next head coach and to a new quarterback and so on.

The difference here might be with actual accountability being reinstituted in the front office culture of the franchise. That is one area where lip service was paid, yet little actual accountability to be had since Ellis took over the trust.

Penner’s focus on accountability will be important as the team moves into next year. This is a year-to-year type league, so expectations have been set.

“This season has been more difficult than we expected,” Penner said. “Again, it’s not the season we were hoping for, expecting for, or feel that our fans deserve. I’m a big believer that if you start with the right culture, (the right) people, and you have the resources and expectations, we can build a winning football team here again. I don’t think that takes a number of years. Our focus should be on turning this around so that we’re ready to go this coming season with the right pieces in place.”

The expectation is to turn things around and build the right culture now... not years from now. After seven long years of hitting the restart button, I remain skeptical they can pull it off. Then again, this is the first offseason the Broncos franchise will have an actual owner around to set the right expectations moving forward.