(Image credit Sarah Kloepping/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
When the Denver Broncos decided to fire Vic Fangio one of their questions heading into the offseason was Who will be the new Head Coach for the team. Well, that question now has an answer as news came that the Denver Broncos have decided to hire Nathanial Hackett as their head coach. Now as always I want to dive into the coaching experience that Nathanial Hackett has had in the sport of Football.
Nathanial Hackett started in college football coaching for UC Davis in 2003 and actually was their linebacker’s coach. Which is something that I did not know about until researching him. Hackett then coached at Stanford as an assistant to both the offensive and defensive coordinators. He first made his mark on both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills as an Offensive quality control. Hackett then decided to go back to college football and coach for Syracuse in many different positions including Passing game coordinator/Quarterbacks/tight ends coach, and even as an Offensive coordinator until 2012. Hackett then returned to the NFL as an offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. This was during the EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel, Kyle Orton years where the Bills offense struggled. But during his tenure with the Bills, he had a close relationship with Doug Marrone who opted out as the Head Coach for the Bills they both joined the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hackett would be the QB coach for 2015-2016. Then once Doug Marrone got promoted to the head coaching position Nathanial Hackett got promoted to offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2016-2018. Once he was fired in Jacksonville Hackett then joined with the Green Bay Packers as the offensive coordinator from 2019-2021. In total, he has 19 years of coaching experience in the sport of football.
Now, a lot of people and analysts have pointed to his success in Jacksonville being one of the main reasons why he should be hired as the Head Coach due to how well that offense was with Blake Bortles at Quarterback. Those people have great points but the big problem was Nathanial Hackett was not that good of an offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. He got way too predictable with his play-calling and some of his play-calling even when Jacksonville had that one-year wonder season was horrendous.
Now I believe he was mainly hired due to how successful his tenure was with the Green Bay Packers. Now he did a solid job as the offensive coordinator plus even players on the team (We Will get to that later) showed a ton of respect and support for him. But I have two concerns with Hackett during his time in Green Bay. First, he had Aaron Rodgers at QB and that was a tremendous reason why the Packers offense was good. Second, I did a little research on Hackett’s time with the Packers and apparently, he never called the plays at all during his time in Green Bay. Now that is concerning as the Broncos do need an offensive-minded coach but if not making any play calls for years is an issue for me.
Do I absolutely hate this hire, I don't. Like I said earlier, players in Green Bay gave respect to him when he got the job. That shows he can potentially maintain and set a good culture in the locker room. Something to keep in mind though is a certain scenario that could play out very well for the Broncos and it involves a player named Aaron Rodgers. There has been a lot of speculation that the Broncos could be a landing spot for Aaron Rodgers when he leaves the Green Bay Packers during the offseason. Both Rodgers and Hackett have had a strong relationship during their tenure in Green Bay. Plus Aaron Rodgers wants to play with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Davante Adams on his team and the Denver Broncos can afford them as they are currently projected to have 40 million dollars in salary cap during the offseason. If this scenario were to play out and I absolutely see it as a possibility then this could be a slam dunk hire for the Broncos. Especially with the only thing missing on Denver’s team was consistency and competency at the Quarterback position. It is absolutely something to think about.
But as always I want to congratulate Mr. Hackett for being hired as the head coach for the Denver Broncos. I wish him luck during his tenure with the Denver Broncos and hopefully, he proves me wrong about my concerns about this hire.