When meeting with ownership, Nathaniel Hackett needs to admit his mistake


Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett didn’t get grilled by reporters the way he should have been after Monday night’s loss to the Seahawks, given his inexplicable decision to dial up a 64-yard field goal attempt in lieu of attempting to convert on fourth and five, with plenty of time and multiple time outs.

He undoubtedly won’t enjoy such deference when meeting with ownership.

In the first game for the Penner-Walton group, they’ll have questions. What Hackett says will be as important as how he says it. During post-game practice, he talked way too fast. He’ll need, first and foremost, to slow it down when he’s sitting across from CEO Greg Penner.

And he’ll also need to be able to better explain why he trusted a guy who had a career success rate of 12.5 percent from 60 yards or longer in lieu of trusting quarterback Russell Wilson to convert a fourth-down play, given the massive investment the team has made in its franchise quarterback.

Owners have become more savvy in recent years. The in-house analytics executives help load them up with questions that cut through the jargon of coach speak. The coaches get challenged like never before. And they need to be convincing in their explanations.

For Hackett, the stakes will be as high. The new owners didn’t hire him. They are titans of industry. Their truest and most complete first impression of Hackett will be based on how he handles a difficult situation like this one.

His best play will be to admit that he made a bad decision. To acknowledge that, as he moves from the relative calm of the booth to the highest-setting blender of the sideline, things move very quickly and that he needs to learn how to make good decisions quickly.

His job isn’t riding on it today. But it could cloud ownership’s assessment of him just enough that his job will be riding on it later.

25 responses to “When meeting with ownership, Nathaniel Hackett needs to admit his mistake

  1. First thing he needs to do is put down the play sheet. When your a first time head coach you need to understand all aspects of the game to manage it correctly. He looked so lost yesterday and the team was mentally and physically soft. No discipline at all. Focus dude on the team not the offence.

  2. The Mighty Seahawks not only Won the Game, and Embarrassed Wilson, they put the Broncos’ new Coach on the Hot Seat!!…

    Go Hawks!

  3. Hackett ruined one of the great entertainment moments ever. Wilson back in Seattle 4th and five do or die end of game 60,000 or whatever people screaming millions watching on TV and what’s he do, he tries a million yard field goal. What a dumb move what a let down.

  4. The problem for Natty Hackett is deciding on which mistake to take accountability for. Penalties, clock management, and a lack of plan to exploit a defense featuring inexperience on the corners are all on him. The entire team was out of sync and ran into a team that was more than ready to start the season. I’m optimistic about my Broncos, but that was pretty terrible coaching.

  5. Umm, it’s one game folks. I don’t think these “titans of industry” have a habit of micromanaging their leaders, especially after one week. If McManus is still kicking 64 yarders every week come November, then maybe there’s an issue worth discussing.

  6. It may seem rash but honestly I think he deserves to be fired. The decision was so unbelievably awful that you can no longer trust anything about his decision making abilities going forward. Not to mention that he followed it up with taking all his time outs during the kneel downs. This was some of the lowest grade coaching I’ve ever witnessed.

  7. I have never seen that much dysfunction of the last minute of the game as what Hackett put us through. A Pee Wee football coach would have been better suited to play out the last minute of that game.

  8. I think his job should be riding on it. As you said, new ownership has nothing invested in him because they did not hire him. The field goal attempt, combined with the terrible play calling in goal line situations and the penalties, may be enough for new ownership to say no thank you.

  9. What mistake? Clearly the coach slash O-coordinator doesn’t trust the ability of Russ to make the correct play when it matters. Hackett went with his best option to win.

  10. Need to keep things in perspective here. Denver isn’t that good. They were held to 3 points in the 2nd half and gave up none. Granted that was against an average at best Seattle team but Denver had 2 fumbles inside the 5. Some of that is the 1st game jitters, and some of that is just an average team making average team mistakes. Sure paying Wilson is a big part of it, but the kicker missed by a few feet left. If he makes it, what are you talking about? It’s not like Denver is going anywhere with that team, they aren’t better than the Chargers or the Chiefs and will like be fighting to beat the raiders for 3rd in the West.

  11. Hackett has been around PRO Football a very long time. You would think he should have known NOT to believe a Kicker with a 12.5% success rate over 60 yards when he says he can make it. Dumb, just pitifully dumb. DIDN’T he learn anything in GB when they took the ball out of Roger’s hands in their Playoff LOSS?

    Ryan Clark, ESPN analyst was asked by Scott vanPelt after the game what he thought of the decision. (I wish I would have said this.)
    Clark said: “He might have the leg but he doesn’t have the money!”
    Freaking succinct analysis!👏👏👏
    You don’t pay you’re new QB $231 Million QB and set him down to try a very low percentage Field Goal. Ever!

    It was the Wrong call even if he made it.

  12. Pete is no great game-day coach, but he always has his teams ready to fight. That said, Buddy…er Nathaniel looked completely out of his depth.

    They really thought they were just a QB away? Elway not looking like a Stanford grad on this hire, either

  13. No way wilson wouldve got the 4th and 5 in opponent territory. Much better chance at the FG. Which only missed by inches.

  14. If they’re smart, they eat this and fire him now. That’s one of the worst coaches I’ve ever seen, which was predictable considering his history. They didn’t hire him, so they have an easy out. Can’t be wasting a year of a 33 year old QB on terrible coaching. There were head scratching moves all night. The GM would be on the hot seat now too for hiring him.

  15. I haven’t seen that much stupidity from a coach since the last minte of the Chiefs-Bill playoff game!

  16. It was too much pressure on a rookie coach, the expectations were so high. I do believe Denver should have played the starters in at least one pre-season game, new system, new coach, new QB, it really needed more in game work, that was the first mistake. I was excited when they came back from commercial that they were kicking a 64 yard fg, knowing a miss guaranteed a win for the Seahawks. If it had been Russ with the ball, I have seen him in these situations so many times and he can make some magic, I feared the worst. I was more than happy that Hackett could not hack it.

  17. The decision to try the FG wasn’t a good one, but at least it was a (somewhat) defensible decision. The timeouts afterward? Utterly classless, and likely a move that will say as much to his team as the decision not to trust Wilson to do what he has done so well so often.

  18. Offensive coach doesn’t have his magic 4th and 5 play ready with a $250M QB?

    The timeouts during kneel-down were perhaps the worse offense.

  19. Fourth and five is scarcely a “gimme.” Probably about the same odds as the FG attempt. Maybe the HC would have “looked better,” but it’s not like all they needed was a QB sneak.

  20. The last time I stood 6 inches in front of my tv screaming was when Wilson threw the interception and gave away the Superbowl. Last night was funner!!

  21. What everyone seems to miss here is Wilson and Hack’s claims that they are partners in the offense.

    Where was Russ when time bled before he used a TO?

    Where was Russ when he sat down to allow a 64 yard FG attempt?

    And if Russ really does like Hack like he claims (and his claims are suspect) then where will Russ be mentally if they fire him?

    Blame Hack but blame Wilson also.

  22. This is so overblown. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If they go for it and don’t make it, like Russell did so many times last year, he gets crucified. If the kicker makes it, it was a great decision. It was 4th and 5, not 4th and inches. And maybe he was protecting Wilson. If Wilson fails to convert there, it looks really bad on their $250m investment.

  23. The rookie coach in Minnesota was the polar opposite…organized, great play calling, great game plan, time management…it was all good. Glad the purple choose KOC over Hachett

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