Elway calls arrests ‘unfortunate situation’

Associated Press

Tom Heckert, the team’s recently hired director of pro personnel, had been arrested June 11 and charged with driving under the influence and careless driving.

By Tom Pellissero
USA TODAY Sports

STATELINE, Nev. – John Elway said a clear message has been sent to the Denver Broncos staff in the wake of two recent drunk-driving incidents that led to suspensions for two of the team’s personnel executives.

“Unfortunate situation,” Elway, Denver’s executive vice president of football operations, said in a brief interview with USA TODAY Sports before his practice round Wednesday at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.

“But, look at it from every different area, and hopefully, it doesn’t happen again – front office or players.”

Matt Russell, the Broncos’ director of player personnel, was arrested July 6 on charges of driving under the influence and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, careless driving resulting in injury and failure to display proof of insurance. According to police, Russell’s blood-alcohol content at the scene was measured at .246, more than three times the legal limit in Colorado.

One day after Russell issued an apology, it was revealed Tom Heckert, the team’s recently hired director of pro personnel, had been arrested June 11 and charged with driving under the influence and careless driving. His blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit, police said.

The Broncos announced Monday they’ve suspended Russell indefinitely and Heckert for a month, both without pay.

“We’re a microcosm of society,” said Broncos coach John Fox, who was to play his practice round at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in a group including Elway and former Denver safety John Lynch.

“Things happen. You do your best. Our staff – we’ve got a lot of people doing it right, close to 300 people when you count your employees and players. Most of them are all doing good things.”

The Broncos said in a statement Monday they have communicated with the NFL, which plans no further discipline for Russell or Heckert.

Players will report to training camp July 24.

© 2013 USA TODAY. All rights reserved.

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