Nathaniel Hackett moves closer to the brink

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
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Three weeks ago, it was fair to wonder whether a loss to the Jaguars would result in the Broncos firing first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett. It’s now fair to ask whether, three weeks from today, Hackett will still be the team’s head coach.

Hackett gave up play-calling duties for today’s game.  The Broncos still scored only 16 points. And Hackett became more involved in the team’s defense. Which allowed the Raiders to drive from their own 22 to inside the Denver 10, forcing overtime. Which then let the Raiders go right down the field on the first drive of overtime to win the game, in three plays.

And so the Broncos lost to the Raiders, who are now 3-7 overall — and 1-7 in games against teams other than the Broncos. The Broncos are also 3-7. More importantly, there’s just no sense that anything is working, or that it will start working any time soon.

Again, current ownership didn’t hire Hackett. And current ownership can blink an eye and have enough Wal-Mart money to finance Hackett’s buyout.

Plenty of competent coordinators don’t make good head coaches. Through 10 games, the evidence has become abundant that Hackett is overmatched. Hiring Jerry Rosburg to help Hackett manage the game didn’t help. Giving up play calling duties, a move that was kept secret long enough to keep the Raiders from being prepared for Klint Kubiak’s tendencies, didn’t help.

It’s harsh, I know. But harsh decisions are made every year about who will, or won’t, be coaching NFL teams.

This year, the bar in Denver was too high. Hackett has failed to come close to meeting expectations. While plenty of the blame traces to the underwhelming performance of quarterback Russell Wilson, he’s not going anywhere. They need someone who can help Wilson take the Broncos somewhere — somewhere other than the basement of the AFC West.

While it’s unclear who that will be. It’s becoming more clear all the time that it will be someone other than the team’s current head coach.

39 responses to “Nathaniel Hackett moves closer to the brink

  1. If there is a coach out there that could turn things around quickly it would have to be Sean Payton. Everyone else is either an unknown commodity or a was-a-HC-before-but-failed guy. If Walmart doesn’t care about the money I bet they could land Payton…especially considering that Dallas is playing so well now.

  2. Have to fire the GM first and foremost. He hired the coach, made the move for Wilson, over paid him before making play and paid Bolles a contract he isn’t worth. The team isn’t going to be good for a while. He inherited Elway’s I can’t stop drafting WRs mess but he has dug the franchise in deeper. Wilson isn’t going anywhere for 2 more years so good luck.

  3. It’s bizarre that there are people in Pittsburgh who would rather have Nathaniel Hackett than Mike Tomlin.

  4. I feel a lot of this can be tied back to what locals called “training GLAMP” this year. Every third day a walk through. Every second day a jog through. Zero one-on-one drills. No starters played at all in the pre-season. So, MAYBE, 8-10 full contact/full speed practices over the entire pre-season. He’s getting out what he put in. The team is poorly coached and always unprepared.

  5. “This year the bar in Denver was too high”. Yep. With or without Wilson this team has been overhyped as a one player away contender. If that’s so, where has the rest of this squad minus Wilson been all year? They suck with him and they have sucked for years without him. They have lost 8 of 9 to the Raiders no matter who the QB or coach has been. Now, no top of the draft talent and and anchor of a contract with a fraud for a QB. The beat goes on and on in Denver.

  6. 3rd and 10 inside the 2 minute warning and the Raiders have NO timeouts and Wilson rolls to his right……and throws an INC pass. Are you kidding me? Slide down and the clock rolls down to 1:15-ish….LV kicked their tying FG with 0:16 left. 97 “coaches/staff” on each of these teams and not one said…..”run the ball and keep the clock rolling coach”…..

  7. I have never seen a more incompetent head coach except maybe Kingsbury. I don’t think that Wilson can be judged until he gets an NFL level coach.

  8. I was hopi g John Elway was under center when I saw the retro Bronco helmets,but alas it was a dream

  9. If there’s one thing the Walmart family knows, it’s making cuts in the fourth week of November. At the stores, it’s cutting prices for Black Friday. When it come to their new team, it’s cutting the incompetent head coach.

  10. I put this on Russell Wilson. Not seeing wide open guys and poor throws will make any play caller look bad. I think the broncos front office wants fans and media to blame Hackett, so they don’t look as bad.

  11. Dan Quinn is the name being mentioned most in Broncos podcasts. As a fan, I’d rather have Sean Payton. I really wanted to like GM George Paton, but the Wilson disaster is hard to get past. I mean Wilson had surgery on his throwing hand last year and didn’t play well after it all season. Then Paton signs Wilson to an enormous new contract before seeing him play and when he is already under contract. Make him earn it already!

    Now let’s go earn the Seahawks a top 5 pick!

    I’m a disappointed Broncos fan…let the mockery continue! Lol

  12. Honest to God, Wilson is a veteran QB you cannot throw an incomplete pass under two minutes on third down when your opponent has no timeouts. That has got to be the worst play this season. As a Seahawk fan this upcoming draft just gets better and better.

  13. I think Pete knew something no one else did, that Wilson’s play was going downhill so he got rid of him!

  14. None of this is surprising. I was shocked the Broncos even interviewed Hackett, let alone hire him as their head coach. Don’t know why this guy continues to get so many opportunities.

  15. How Pete Carroll hasn’t been brought up on charges for the robbery he committed against Denver is anyones guess.

  16. It’s a 3 way tie for who needs to be shown the door: HC, GM, & QB.
    Wilson, ‘The Ego Maniac’ was waste of resources, the Head Coach shouldn’t be one, and the GM is in over his head.

  17. KC fan here loving the dysfunction. Keep doing what you’re doing. Rich people doing dumb things is why Clark Hunt has become one of the best owners in the NFL. His dad got old and conservative. Clark Hunt changed this franchise by hiring Andy Reid and giving his GM freedom to create a fun team. I can’t put in words how much things have changed in KC with a good owner that cares more about winning than about making a buck

  18. @evss This is not true. Pete Carroll didn’t “make Wilson good” but maximized his talents and strengths while surrounding him with players and game plans that would mitigate his weaknesses. Russ and the Hawks won a SB and have been 10+ wins and consistent playoff appearances for a decade with him.

    It is true the team and some of the players never quite recovered after the INT to end the SB. This includes Russ, who got a ton of money and started throwing his weight around on how the offense should be, who should run it and keep me happy. It ended with a couple seasons of declining play and a bunch of passive aggressive shading. Broncos felt all they needed was a QB, figured out he was available, put blinders on to some of his obvious flaws as a player, and went all in. It has backfired spectacularly so far.

    Anyways, my point is Wilson WAS good for a very long time with the Seahawks, and it’s becoming clear much of that was due to the coach and organization.

  19. Literally the ONE THING he shouldn’t have done was be more involved in the defense. The Broncos already have one of the best defenses in the league. What good or bonus could Hackett have added by meddling in the defense???

    Denver needs to stop hiring rookie head coaches. Josh McDaniels, Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio and now Hackett. Stop giving these guys a chance when clearly there is zero discipline! When they go for experienced head coaches they always do good. I hope they have learned their lesson and these new owners need to recognize this.

  20. The buffalo bills have said
    “Here hold my beer”

    They’ve had so many injuries, it’s really hard to judge this team

  21. Yes Sean Payton is the right choice for the Broncos sure. But I doubt Sean Payton wants to come to the Broncos. So many better choices for him to go to.

  22. I get it that a lot of you want Hackett fired and for good reason.

    But don’t think that magically fixes Russ. The reason Russ wanted out of Seattle was because Carroll limited his hero balls. But even then he would audible to them.

    Go get another coach but Wilson will still want to cook.

    He’s just really bad at it.

  23. im sure i speak for the whole of the AFC West when i say this Hackett Wilson dynamic duo should get like 3 years to gel.
    .

  24. The funny part is Hackett no longer really has a “job” left to lose. He doesn’t call plays and he has a guy up in the box to handle timeouts and game management. He’s just another guy standing on the sidelines. And he got more involved in the defense? His background is on offense. If he can’t call plays on the side of the ball he actually has experience with why would anybody think he could help out on defense?

  25. Winning cures all ills

    Denver will win this week at Carolina, which will a) guarantee the survival of Hackett, and, b) act as a catalyst for a late-season resurgence by Wilson

    Now is the time to buy Broncos stock, my friends-

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