When the Denver Broncos traded Russell Wilson, it came as a shock. It was shocking because the Broncos weren’t on Wilson’s list—you remember, The four teams Wilson may want to go down if he gets traded, though He didn’t quite do it want to be traded. It was shocking because Pete Carroll stood up at the NFL platform less than a week before trading and said, “We have no intention of making any move,” just like Ian Rapoport said on Pat McAfee Show That the Seahawks won’t trade it until they have a “better choice of theirs for competition next year.”
It was also shocking because Wilson was so clear and unambiguous that the Broncos plan B. Sure, they rushed forward with Wilson’s trade as if their intentions had been all along, sending first-round multiple picks, second-round multiple picks, and multiple picks. Players in one of the largest trading packs ever put together. Earlier this month, Walton-Penner’s new ownership group signed Wilson on a massive five-year extension of $245 million, the third largest in total guaranteed funds ($165 million) of all time — all the while brandishing the fact that they They don’t. t initially wanted Wilson. They wanted Aaron Rodgers.
It wasn’t hard to watch the dominoes fall. On January 27, the Broncos took their vacant coaching position with Nathaniel Hackett, the Packers offensive coordinator who has been with Rodgers for the past three years. Then they waited for the long-discontented Rodgers to make his pick. But on March 8th, Rodgers signs his extension with the PackersLater that day, the first leaks surfaced that Wilson was due to trade with Bronco. Wilson was kept in a large glass case to break down the Broncos in the event of an emergency – and as soon as Rodgers remained, they activated the fail-safe system.
Hackett was a defensible employee in the same way that every head coach has ever been hired. The owners say things like “culture” and “leadership,” the general managers talk about the team’s “shared vision,” and the coach introduces himself and talks about “aggressiveness” and maximizing players and not just running his own system. Then she teases some places he’s coached before, talks about how long he’s been into soccer and how much he loves it, and calls it a day. Good job, team.
Don’t ask about Rodgers, though. As GM George Patton said when asked if Hackett was partly hired to lure Denver’s four-times best player.: “of course not.”
Maybe it was Hackett. There is nothing discernible in Hackett’s resume that would have qualified him for a major coaching position otherwise. Of course, other franchises have made similarly uninspiring hires for a head coach—but at least in his relationship with Rodgers, Hackett had a selling point that other sons of the NFL establishment, and longtime coordinator with several bad offenses—the candidates in his resume didn’t. They do it. Button couldn’t say it, because he couldn’t mess around, but Bronco would probably hire Hackett to try and get Rodgers. Rodgers himself said in November of 2020, “I wish [Hackett] Don’t go anywhere… unless you do. “
If we could all accept that the Broncos hired Hackett to lure the Rodgers, the next part would be much easier. Because now he’s Rodgers Not A Bronco, Wilson he is A Bronco, Hackett resident The head coach of the Broncos, and we’ve seen the Broncos play two games under Hackett… well, it’s hard to tell what Hackett is. Do As head coach of the Broncos.
Coaches determine the direction of the soccer team. They hire coordinators, spot coaches, and additional assistants to assemble the staff who will implement their vision. Hackett reportedly wanted to appoint Adam Stenavich, his offensive line coach with the Packers, as his offensive coordinator in Denver. Packers blocked hiring and promoted Stenavich to Hackett’s old job, so Hackett hired another Packers offensive coach, former head coach Justin Otten, for the position. As his defensive coordinator, Hackett hired the Rams’ passing coordinator Ejiro Ivero, and as his Special Teams coordinator Dwayne Stokes, the Rams’ assistant special teams coordinator.
Calling plays for the Broncos, Hackett hasn’t called plays in Green Bay, only doing so in Jacksonville in 2018, where he was fired mid-season. Outten has never been an offensive coordinator. Evo was never a defensive coordinator or called plays. Stukes has never been a special teams coach. Add Wilson’s new quarterback, and the Broncos were the only team this year to enter their first week with a new midfielder, head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator.
Coaches set the direction for the football team, and Hackett set a trend for modernity. He hired young coaches without much experience, and to his credit he tried to account for that by helping these young coaches grow. hire john vieira, Instructional Designer from his time at Green Bay to help coaches learn how to use new techniques and methods to teach their players more effectively. He also appointed Hackett as director of the game, citing the role he played during his introductory press conference as being the first he wanted to fill in his team, saying, “The starting point is to have a great guy to run the game. We see him every week and that’s the difference in a lot of games and it’s having a good guy who can manage the game. Be there to guide you in going into the match.” Hackett hired Brad Miller as football strategist for the teamHackett himself said that Miller was “always around.” [his] So, which gives you the possibility to move if you want to in fourth down, and when to take a timeout.”
This approach does not work. The Broncos made an astonishing number of procedural errors in just two matches of the 2022 season. Denver is leading 0-5 in goal races, having scored all of its touchdowns this season from outside of 20. He took several procedural penalties in the red, including a false start that eliminated the touchdown in front of the Seahawks and postponed the game in the fourth and 1st of 1 against Houston which prevented them from going for relegation. Delays in the game’s problems are the most pervasive – enough that even the Broncos fans counted down the hour of play aloud in favor of the offense. Hackett’s reluctance to finish fourth and fifth late against the Seahawks in Week 1 bled 40 seconds off the playing hour, although Hackett had several timeouts left to use; The Broncos ended up trying a 64-yard field goal at Lumen Field, where no field goal longer than 56 yards was hit. They missed the kick and lost the match.
The following week, at Mile High – a stadium known for its thin air and long kicks – the Broncos took another penalty delay in fourth and second from 36, as Hackett remained unsure about whether to hit or go for it. On fourth and 7th of 41, Hackett passed a 58-yard kick – a shorter kick in better conditions than he chose to kick one week earlier – and chased the football away. Against the Texans, Hackett also needed a timeout for a field kick return and another to get a play call after a first-class sack; Both were spent in a one-score match before the fourth quarter ended even halfway. If the Broncos are forced into a two-minute attack drill, they have no timeout.
The in-game management debacle reminds us of another head coach’s responsibilities: he runs the game. Decides when a timeout is needed and when a field goal, kick, or fourth down attempt is optimal. His job is to be clear and concise, so coordinators can move their units and people into the field with plenty of time to implement the plan set by the head coach.
Hackett hasn’t run any games yet. The decisions he makes on Sunday, apparently informed by a consultant in the booth, are incomprehensible and often detrimental to the Broncos’ chances of winning. This crew has filled, and this crew cannot execute.
There’s more to a head coach than just hiring a team and running a game. As outside observers, we can easily overemphasize the importance of such things because they are so visible. Small graphs in TV broadcasts or floating around on Twitter tell us what the computer thinks the coach should be doing, and because it’s so easy for us to see, it’s crazy when the coach flies on the screen at him. But among the head coach’s remaining responsibilities, we’re still struggling to find plenty for Hackett to hang his hat on.
As the gameplay liaison and main attacking mind, Hackett is responsible for the Broncos’ offensive performance. Denver ranks 14th in offensive DVOA, eighth in predicted points added per game, and 24th in points per game—above average by advanced metrics, but below average in stats that decide wins and losses. With an elite quarterback on hand – remember, Ross was the quarterback they wanted all along – the offense was disappointing early on. It’s also hard to find Hackett’s influence on offense since his time at Green Bay with Rodgers. Hackett said the crime would be “What Russell Wilson loves to doup to this point, they have been: long periods of withdrawal, deep passes, twists and turns in the game of short passes. If the offense is just Wilson’s offense, what does Hackett bring to the table?
Head coaches also deal with culture. Hackett is clearly a beloved coach – at least by Rodgers – and has a friendly, elegant approach to his job. There are plenty of rowdy coaches who can get on the wrong side of players and miss the dressing room, even if they do a good job as planners – Broncos fans will remember Vic Fangio’s era very vividly. It’s good that Hackett is loved by his players, and with the Broncos struggling, his strong interpersonal skills will be to his advantage in keeping everyone on the train and working towards the same goals. But if that’s Hackett’s calling card – that his players like him – it’s very difficult to see how the Broncos’ young coaching staff, awful procedural issues and mediocre offensive production will improve.
The point of hiring Hackett was very clear: Broncos wanted Rodgers, and Hackett was a way to get him. If it wasn’t obvious when it happened, it is now, as Hackett hasn’t yet done any of the things that good coaches tend to do. We’re two games now, and there’s plenty of time for Hackett to prove he can – but Dolphins’ first-year coach, Mike McDaniel, is dealing with a comeback late in the game and improving his crew. First-year Giants head coach Brian Dabol steals wins late with two-point conversions; Even Bears’ first-year coach Matt Eberls Beat the Bears locker room. other men do Something. I have no idea what Hackett is doing.
But what I think doesn’t really matter – I’m just a guy watching from afar. What matters is what the property believes Hackett is doing. The ownership has changed decisively. Bowlen Trust hired Hackett as their head coach before selling the Broncos to Walton-Penner Group. Broncos Hackett’s ownership was not identified as a man – they only inherited him as a horse to which their cart was attached.
This puts Hackett in a very different field from the rest of the first-year coaches, who all compete in the first year to prove to their superiors that they can hand the bill for the goods they sold at their interviews. Miami, New York and Chicago had ownership and front office visibility, selecting head coaches to complement the current vision. Since Hackett was hired by the Broncos, the Broncos’ vision has changed.
Hackett is not on the hot seat. It’s September — first-year coaches’ seats don’t get hot in September, no matter how retro the NFL media space may be. But Hackett is in a completely unknown seat. He doesn’t have Rodgers, he doesn’t have ownership, and at the moment, he doesn’t have anything on his resume that proves he could be a head coach for the NFL. He has the rest of the season to change that, or it will be impossible to fulfill Hackett’s argument as being more than just one coach.