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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Reinforced and ready to start the hunt for touchdowns, Nathaniel Hackett was formally introduced on Friday as the Denver Broncos’ 18th head coach in franchise history.
Hackett, who had been the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator for the past three seasons, called his appointment “a dream.”
The 42-year-old arrives as the Broncos have had one of the league’s most unreliable and inconsistent offenses over six consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance.
“Every attack you have must be maneuverable, must be able to be adjusted according to who you have on our team,” Hackett said. “… You want to get the defense to cover the whole field and you have to take shots down the field. Let’s face it: that’s what the people in the stands love. I remember seeing John Elway … it’s really here, this system somehow evolved and was created. “
Broncos general manager George Paton was quick to shoot down the early theory that Hackett had been hired to give the Broncos a better chance of luring Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Denver should the triple NFL MVP happen to be in the trading market. in the coming. months.
“Absolutely not,” Paton said quickly when asked if Rodgers had anything to do with Hackett’s hiring.
One of the first orders for Hackett will be to kickstart an offensive that has been one of the league’s worst in recent years. The Broncos have not averaged more than 23 points per game since 2014.
“These [playoff] offenses are dynamic and we have a long way to go in that capacity. We need to get better on the offensive. We have to score many more points, ” said Paton. “We need to be more explosive … but we also need to be better on special teams and we do not want to take a step back in defense.”
Over the past six seasons, the Broncos have averaged fewer than 20 points per game three times, including 19.7 per game in this year’s 7-10 finish.
If Paton included an enthusiasm incentive clause in Hackett’s four-year deal with the team, the new coach would have to serve it all Friday. Quickly, Hackett said he and Paton will “start grinding” on player ratings and hiring a staff as soon as possible.
Paton and Hackett each said the quarterback position would play a big role in the discussions they have about the series in the coming weeks.
The team has started 10 different quarterbacks – running back Phillip Lindsay also started behind center in the no-quarterback game in 2020 – since midway through the 2016 season.
The Broncos had originally scheduled other interviews this week with Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell following their second interview with Hackett last Monday. But after talking a lot with Hackett all Monday and then one last discussion on Tuesday, the other interviews were canceled and Hackett was hired.
“There was no reason to continue. I was sold,” Paton said. “… It was a really big group of candidates we interviewed. I spent a lot of time with [Hackett]. I knew how I felt. I talked to the staff, I talked to the management, and I thought, ‘What are we doing? This is the man for the Denver Broncos. “
Said Hackett: “I feel like this is a dream right now. It’s incredible … To say I’m excited would be a massive understatement.”