Nathaniel Hackett is the newest Denver Broncos coach trying to solve the same old offensive problem – NFL Nation

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ENGLEWOOD, Col. – The need to repair one of the league’s most consistently clumsy offenses was finally so great, so inevitable, that the NFL’s most patient coaching search suddenly became the offseason’s first hire. Sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, the Denver Broncos agreed in an agreement with Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to become the team’s next head coach.

Broncos general manager George Paton spoke with most candidates from any team looking for a head coach in the first round of interviews – 10 – and then scrapped his second interview schedule when the Broncos concluded a deal with Hackett.

Hackett, 42, known throughout the league for his wit, experience and – most importantly for the Broncos – offensive know-how to go with work on the top shelf with quarterbacks, has plenty of heavy lifting ahead of him. He introduced himself as the guy for the job, and Paton then ended a deal before Hackett could interview a second time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos’ plan to give Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell another interview was tossed aside on the way to the dotted line.

Hackett is the third time in a row as head coach that the Broncos have hired. The other two – Vance Joseph and Vic Fangio – were fired after two and three seasons respectively. Both were dragged into the hot seat by a misdemeanor that has not averaged more than 23 points per game since 2014 and has not averaged more than 21 points per game since 2015.

During that time, the Broncos have had three seasons, including the most recent, where they averaged fewer than 20 points per game. match.

Two things happen in today’s NFL when your offense lives in the scoring neighborhood. First, you miss the playoffs that the Broncos have done in six consecutive seasons, and second, you fire your coaches, as the Broncos have done after the 2018 and 2021 seasons.

Hackett, whose father, Paul, was a longtime coach in both college and the NFL, had the deepest coaching resume of any of the interviewed candidates. That he spent the last three seasons as the Packers ‘offensive coordinator will keep Aaron Rodgers’ to-the-Broncos hype train running for the foreseeable future.

But the Broncos can not, and did not, hire Hackett because he power be able to help the Broncos get the Rodgers if Rodgers does not pull gold if The Packers even decide to be the first team in recorded football history to move on from a quarterback coming after (probably) back-to-back MVP awards.

It’s not good business, and if the Broncos really did, they should probably move Hackett forward, start the interviews all over again, and save everyone the hassle of two seasons.

No, Hackett was hired to rectify the offense with whatever quarterback opportunities might happen. The Broncos do not need a reinvent-the-wheel offensive, they do not have to break scoring records like the 2013 festival with points behind quarterback Peyton Manning. But they need an offensive that does not get the quarterback, the offensive coordinator and the head coach fired again and again.

They need an offensive that matches the list they have, not the one they wish they had. They need an offensive that is simply not the Broncos’ biggest opponent every week because their own offensive has been just that: poor field position, poor choices, poor turnovers and – usually – poor results.



Stephen A. Smith is upset that the Broncos hired Nathaniel Hackett over Eric Bieniemy to be their new head coach.

Joseph and Fangio showed, more often than not, they’re likely to get the credit for being NFL head coaches, and each had moments where he had the opportunity to take the next step on the development curve and be a long-term solution in the job. But none of them managed his own staff enough, especially not on the “other” side of the ball. Each fired an offensive coordinator in the first season of his tenure, but none of them were aggressive enough internally to ensure the issues were resolved. These problems eventually gave each one a push out the door.

None of them got stuck enough the team special team. They did not manage any matches in the game, such as replay challenges.

They did not train their own coaches enough.

It’s all on Hackett’s plate now as the 18th coach in franchise history. He has paid what he needs, many in the league believe it is his time to be the head coach and he is coming to one of the best jobs available. The Broncos, specifically Paton as well as the team’s CEO Joe Ellis, will soon say they have found the “leader” they want and they are likely to use “energy” somewhere in the welcome remarks.

Everyone involved will hope that Hackett, as he unpacks all those boxes in his new office, brought some touchdowns with him.


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