Plenty of coaches become sensitized to the practice of trimming the roster from 90 players to 53, along with the constant churning of the bottom of the regular-season roster and practice squad. New Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett may eventually become jaded when it comes to letting players go, but for now it’s something that bothers him.
“First and foremost, it sucks,” Hackett told reporters on Tuesday, the day the Broncos reduced their roster from 90 to 85. “These guys have been busting their behinds all the way back — you go to Phase One [of the offseason program]. They’re part of our group, they’re part of our family. We appreciate everything that those guys have done. There is a human element, but yes, I will talk with everybody. It’s one of those things. The guys know — I embrace those rough times. I just want to be sure that I always thank them for everything they have done.”
And that’s only after five cuts. Next Tuesday, it will be five more. The following Tuesday, 27.
It’s hard for those who genuinely care about the men who are still trying to chase their dreams. And it’s easy to develop a hard shell about it, because for coaches who have extended careers it’s something that happens over and over and over again.