George Paton: The scrutiny Nathaniel Hackett’s faced is unprecedented

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At 2-5, the Broncos have performed vastly below their expectations coming into the 2022 season.

If they fall to the Jaguars on Sunday, they’ll be at 2-6 entering their bye. And no one truly knows how new ownership will react, especially when it comes to those in charge of the football operation.

One of those men, General Manager George Paton, spoke to reporters in London on Thursday while the team was practicing. Paton delivered a vote of confidence and a message of patience for head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

“I believe in Nathaniel. I support Nathaniel 100 percent,” Paton said, via video from Troy Renck of Denver7. “He’s been in this seven games as a head coach. The scrutiny he’s faced is unprecedented. We’ve had four primetime games, so he’s kind of had to learn in front of the entire world.

“But I really like how the team — he’s kept the team together. They’re connected. He’s kept our building together. And I appreciate how he’s fought through that.”

The Broncos may have had several standalone games — and will have another on Sunday — but Hackett is far from the only first-time, first-year head coach in 2022.

Brian Daboll is 6-1 with the Giants. Kevin O’Connell is 5-1 with the Vikings. Mike McDaniel is 4-3 with the Dolphins.

And while it’s true that those teams have not played as many primetime games as the Broncos, those coaches also have not had nearly as many in-game gaffes.

Hackett said Wednesday that he’s not feeling any extra pressure. Given his role on the team, Paton should support Hackett. But if the Walton-Penner group is disappointed in Hackett and/or quarterback Russell Wilson, it is likely also disappointed in Paton, as he hired Hackett, traded for Wilson, and signed Wilson to a massive contract extension before the QB ever played a snap for the team.

30 responses to “George Paton: The scrutiny Nathaniel Hackett’s faced is unprecedented

  1. If they get the offense going they could be just fine. The Broncos have a playoff defense. Just get back to .500 with four to go and see what happens.

  2. they got their qb and spent 250 million on him and he has produced how many TDs? Correct me if I am wrong but fan is short for fanatic, so yes people are mad they support and blow money on a team that is coached by a clown with no experience at the head coach level. They are unprepared every game, they lack focus and their superstar leader is the most cringe thing on the planet right now besides anytime MTG opens her dumb mouth. We were all sold on wilson going to a competiting team, none of the other coaches named were expected to have the records they do beyond McD.

  3. The scrutiny isnt unprecedented even if the primetime slate theyve played may have been. Anytime a new coach comes in and theres an established superbowl winning qb or when a coach brings in an established superbowl winning qb theres scrutiny, what might be close to unprecedented is them falling so far below expectations. Maybe Ray Rhodes taking over GB after back to back superbowl appearances and going 8-8 in his 1 season in the 90s is the next most recent example I can think of. Hackett likely knew going to Denver meant luring Rodgers or Russell which meant he had to know he was taking a position where he needed to win immediately and there would be pressure 🤷‍♂️

  4. Paton is absolutely correct. The torrent of criticism regarding the 66 yard FG attempt opened the door for every person who considers himself a NFL head coach to crush Hackett. He quickly became a punching bag for people who seek to elevate themselves by belittling others.

  5. Then perhaps you should take the blame for mortgaging your future on what appears to be a washed up QB. It will only get more difficult going forward with the lack of picks and salary cap situation.

  6. “I believe in Nathaniel. I support Nathaniel 100 percent,” Paton said, – He gone!

  7. Paton should be the one under extreme scrutiny. You hired a coach that is in over his head. Only reason you hired him is cause you thought he could entice Aaron Rodgers. You traded two ones , two twos plus multiple players for a washed up QB. You’re the one that gave him a contract that pays $245 million that you can’t get out of. Look in the mirror dude. You should be gone right now.

  8. Maybe George Paton’s job should be in jeopardy. He set that franchise back quite a few years with the disastrous Wilson trade and Hackett hire.

  9. I agree. Denver has been a bad team for the past handful of years. This is a rebuild. Its going to take a year or so for all the peices to gel.

    People act like Denver was a good team in the near past. They werent. They were bad. They are going through fixing that.

  10. The problem with Nathaniel Hackett is not that he is making poor in game decisions, it is that they are losing and are 2 and 5. Brandon Staley has made two really bad game management decisions, worse than anything Nathaniel Hackett has done, but the Chargers won both of those games, and he faces no scrutiny. The Chargers are winning in spite of Brandon Staley, but because they are winning he faces no scrutiny. The Broncos are losing, so Hackett will face the utmost scrutiny.

  11. The GM needs to go along with the coach. Terrible hires the Bronco’s have been so bad for years after Manning left.

  12. mainewoodchopper says:
    October 27, 2022 at 9:36 am
    If they get the offense going they could be just fine. The Broncos have a playoff defense. Just get back to .500 with four to go and see what happens.
    A miracle would have to suddenly happen for them to get to .500. By the way, they still have to play the Rams, Chiefs x2, Ravens, Raiders ( who already beat you once), Chargers (who already beat you once) and the the Cards… Imagine a Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgewater led team that goes 7-10. Now imagine that same team through another draft/free agency period and with a 9x pro bowl QB having a worse record. Let’s Ride!

  13. The wide receivers obviously didn’t get the memo about being connected. They’ve had more micro aggressions and mini-tantrums than most toddlers.

  14. Paton’s a## is also on the line. Face it, Paton hired Hackett and traded for Wilson BEFORE the new owners came aboard. This disaster is on HIM.

  15. When you subject your team to as much national scrutiny as Denver has, having their product on national television as often as they have, guess what? People really take notice. When you put this garbage product you have out on the table, everyone will watch and comment. It’s what you wanted, now you got it. Enjoy. You may get rid of this Coach at the end of the year, but the real albatross will hang around your neck for years to come.

  16. Counterpoint: It is unprecedented for a coach and GM with such clearly poor decision making skills to still be employed.

  17. If your head coach is a literal hack who needs his own head coach, then yes, the criticism is warranted.

  18. I hope Wilson sits out a few , I love watching Brett Rypien play as I’m a huge Mark Rypien fan .

  19. What? Denver is a pretty chill town. In New York or Philly Hackett would already be in the witness protection program.

  20. Another thing to note for Macdonald, O’Connell and Daboll is that their side of the ball is handled. You might be able to forgive the record if the offense was thriving and some other areas needed figuring out but the only reason they aren’t 0-7 is because of the defense.

  21. What won’t be unprecedented is when they’re both fired on the same day after the season ends.

  22. I always figure that Paton was Rick Spielman’s brain but now I am wondering if either had one. It is true Spielman was all done after Paton left and his last draft was really crap. But passing on Kevin O Connell and picking up Hackett doesn’t seem to be panning out either for him.

  23. “Unprecedented scrutiny?” The Broncos offense is THE Worst in the history of the franchise,they rank at the bottom of red zone offenses, and have a HC definitely not ready for prime time. To add insult to injury,this first time GM has forfeited the future both financially and talent wise(insurmountable salary cap and numerous premium draft picks) by acquiring what appears to be a”lemon”of a
    QB in Wilson. “Broncos Country,Let’s Hide!”

  24. I agree, George. They should fire you immediately instead and then let the next GM decide on Hackett’s fate since you were the one to hire this coaching staff and to give away your team’s future draft capital and cap space for a washed up QB.

  25. The only things I look at is Russell(LOOK AT ME)problems. He don’t listen the coaches. It’s not coach fault.

  26. Paton is missing a T in his name He needs to be like the General Patton, and launch an amphibious assault in England to purge his recent QB and HC hires.

  27. Nothing in football makes dumb people feel smart like hating on the Broncos right now. You’d think they were getting blown out every week, but reality is they’re a select few plays away from being 5-2 (or better) instead of 2-5. Chicken littles, keep thinking the sky is falling. I’m totally confident y’all will all eat the crow you’re amassing when the team turns it around.

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