Would Nathaniel Hackett consider a quarterback change? “Right now, no”

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Lost in Wednesday’s question of whether the teammates of Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson like him was the question of whether his head coach still wants him under center.

Nathaniel Hackett does, but he offered an interesting response to a very specific inquiry from reporters.

Asked whether he’d consider making a change at quarterback if he thought it would give the team a better chance to win, Hackett said this: “Right now, no.”

Obviously, not every “no” is a “no.” When prefaced with “right now,” it has a much different meaning. It implies that, at some point, things could change.

Think of the other ways Hackett could have responded. He could have just said, “No.” He could have said, “I reject your premise; a quarterback change would not give us a better chance to win.” He could have rolled his eyes and grunted, like Bill Belichick did when asked about a quarterback change during his notorious “on to Cincinnati” press conference after that Monday night blowout loss to the Chiefs in September 2014.

Instead, “Right now, no.”

That’s a significant response. Far more significant than the fact that “about half” of Wilson’s teammates attended his surprise 34th birthday party and, by implication, about half no-showed. And far more significant than the fact that the media outlet owned and operate by the NFL that Wilson has “lost some people” in the locker room.

The response confirms that, as Hackett rearranges the deck chairs on his own personal Titanic, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of eventually throwing his first mate overboard.

47 responses to “Would Nathaniel Hackett consider a quarterback change? “Right now, no”

  1. I think what this really proves is that Hackett is as bad at press conferences as he is at coaching.

  2. I guess this means Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson won’t be wearing their matching game day sweater vests anymore.

  3. The Walmart family needs to consider a change at head coach instead. The Hack is the worst head coach in the league, and it isn’t even close.

  4. Let’s be honest, Hackett probably doesn’t have any control over this. Even if he wanted Russell benched, the decision is probably out of his hands. The guy already gave up play-calling and any decision-making authority over time-management decisions.

    George Paton has $250 million reasons to keep Russell as the starter right now.

  5. If you actually watch the Broncos games, you realize Russell Wilson is not the problem. He’s a first ballot HOF QB who’s still playing at the highest level. They have a new owner, new coach, new playbook. The guys are still learning their assignments. The coaches are just beginning to learn what each player can and can’t do. There are lots of adjustments still being made, and they’re in the midst of overhauling the roster. The one good thing is they have an elite QB. But, you have to actually watch the game with your eyes. Not your ears.

  6. Since it is widely expected that new Broncos ownership who inherited Hackett as coach from previous ownership and did not hire him, is going to fire Hackett at the end of the season, it doesn’t seem like Hackett’s comments matter too much. What the new front office thinks about Wilson’s level of play and his ability / inability to help his teammates play better is what matters now.

    Four or more years ago, when Wilson was still playing very well, it didn’t bother the Seahawks’ front office and coaches too much that Wilson rubbed many teammates the wrong way. But when Wilson’s play slipped a lot more recently, the way Wilson annoys many of his teammates is no longer ignored, and the Seahawks decided to trade him. Much to new Broncos ownership almost certain regret, old Broncos ownership paid a very large price to trade for Wilson and gave him a huge long-term guaranteed contract.

  7. It may be unfair. Nathaniel Hackett got to go.
    Broncos is stuck with Russell Wilson and his contract. He is not movable.
    It is up to the coach to get the best out of Wilson. Pete Carroll knew his to hide Wilson’s weakness and schemed plays to take advantage of Wilson’s deep throws. Now Wilson’s deep ball ability is declining. Hackett is not Carroll, nowhere close. He has to go soon.

  8. Since Hackett plays “Jerry Mahoney” to Rosburg’s and Kubiak’s “Paul Winchell” maybe they should have asked the controllers behind the dummy.

  9. I think every coach goes over this in his head if the team is not winning. It’s an obvious question. Unfortunately, Hackett didn’t choose his words carefully enough. He was caught off guard or misspoke. He can’t say, “Yeah, of course. Wilson sucks right now, right?” If he said yes, anyone left in that locker room completely loses any respect for Wilson.

  10. I mean, it’s honest. Coaches get asked if decisions are “permanent” all the time. I’m reality, none are. Either way, they have one other QB on the roster. Is he going with Brett Rypien?

  11. I don’t get to watch a lot of Denver games, but what seems to be the problem there? Can Wilson just not read a field all of a sudden? I know they lost their RB, traded their TE and don’t have any receivers like DK, but it’s still a bit surprising. Obviously Pete is one of the leagues best coaches, too.

  12. Hackett got himself fired opening night with that idiotic 62 yard field goal strategy. Nothing has worked since. The reality is Russell Wilson will basically hire the next head coach because they have no choice but to get someone who can fix him. It almost looks like Paton locked in the money for Wilson so they had no choice but to keep the structure together. Hackett will be gone but Paton might survive.

  13. Hackett needs both hands to find his own butt, so I wouldn’t read too deeply into his qualified response. He’s not going to bench the QB to whom the franchise is so deeply financially committed, especially when such a move would appear to be him covering up his own inability to tailor an offense in which Wilson can thrive. No need to harp on Hackett’s laughably bad game management…”right now.”

  14. I don’t believe Hackett is a very thoughtful person and therefore couldn’t truly consider the impact of his response.

  15. Who’s he going to play? Brett Rypien? May as well have nobody back there. Just play 11 on offence with random dudes lining up behind center.

    As for Wilson, throw him overboard. With cement shoes. No one needs to be subjected to his fake charms ever again.

  16. You do not replace a sure fire first ballot HOF QB like Russel Wilson and expect to improve.

    Look at the other pieces of the puzzle.

    What else do you want him to do? He didn’t even sleep on the flight to England, instead using his time to do high knees and watch film.

    Is everyone else giving equal effort?

  17. Your GM just handed out the fattest contract in history so of course you’re not going to bench his quarterback.
    They are stuck with Wilson for several years because of that contract

  18. Russ is like some of the fringe crypto currency.

    They looked so shiny when you bought them and you were sure they were going to make you rich.

    But then reality set in…

  19. You mean to tell me Russel Wilson suddenly forgot how to play? The offensive scheme is just terrible. Look at Tua in Miami and the progress overnight. Imagine if Russel was in Miami.

  20. You do know that John Elway, when he played, was a poor man’s Russel Wilson, right?

    Wilson has 8 more career TD passes than Elway, and got them in 46 fewer games.

    Meanwhile to get those 300 TD passes, Elway sacrificed 226 interceptions. To get his 308 Wilson has only thrown 96 – let that sink in.

    Wilson’s career completion percentage is 64.6% while Elway’s was 56.9%. Wilson’s completion percentage THIS YEAR, while those terrible, fair weather Denver fans want him replaced, is 2% above Elway’s career percentage.

    This is why Wilson is a first ballot HOF QB, because he’s better than Elway was.

  21. At this point he should bench Wilson. What’s he got to lose? Right now he has zero chance coming back next year. KC is a tough matchup. But the rest of the games are winnable. If he benches Wilson and goes 5-1 or 4-2 he’d get a 1% chance of keeping his job and at worst would make his resume look better. If Wilson sits maybe the team plays harder and receivers will feel more likely to get the ball when wide open instead of having to play hero ball. If the team implodes further, who cares- he’s gone anyways and the Seahawks are getting their draft picks regardless.

  22. A couple other points re: Wilson vs Elway.

    Elway only won 40% of his Super Bowls while Wilson has won 50%.

    Elway’s margin of defeat averaged 32 points – he got spanked. Wilson’s margin of defeat averaged 4 points.

    Elway’s margin of victory averaged 11 points. Wilson’s margin of victory averaged 35 points.

    Wilson >> Elway

  23. I don’t get to watch a lot of Denver games, but what seems to be the problem there?
    ___________

    It’s everything. Injuries haven’t helped but Hackett’s offense looks terrible. It was a total disaster when he was calling plays (TE sweep on 4th and 1, anyone?) and is still plain vanilla predictable no matter who calls plays. But Wilson is the bigger problem. Whether by design or choice he rarely scrambles like he did in Seattle so now he’s just a short guy trying to throw over tall linemen. He misses open guys and looks uncomfortable basically every play. Wouldn’t be shocked if he was hurt but he’s looked terrible the whole year so doubting he’s been injured the entire season.

  24. They should back the truck up for Sean Payton. I refuse to believe Russ just broke overnight. Hackett needs to go.

  25. After seeing a couple of commenters write that Russell Wilson is a first ballot Hall of Famer, I had to double check the date.
    For a second I thought it was the 1st of April, not December…

  26. Not only is Russ better than Elway, he’s better than Manning who in turn is better than Elway.

    Manning is also .500 in Super Bowls, just like Russ.

    But Manning’s average losses were 24.5 vs Russ average loss of 4.

    Manning’s average wins were 13 vs Russ average win of 35.

    Russ > Manning > Elway

    Lock for first ballot HOF QB

  27. The biggest issue with Russ (besides his personality) is his legs are shot. No legs means no threat of the run which was his game. How the Broncos didn’t see this while watching tape of him is reason enough to fire the GM. Add the fact he then gave him an extension before seeing him in person and that he hired Hackett and the question remains how did he ever get his job?

  28. On hand, and I can’t confirm any of this, it could have been a move to acquire Wilson in hopes that he would be a piece that could lure Sean Payton back into the league with. If we’re all being honest, back when the trade happened, the broncos had at least a good defense, even if Wilson wasn’t necessarily the piece to push them into contender status that all the talking heads said he’d do. As it stands, that front office is looking more radioactive by the day to any potential coach to want to take that position. What a difference a year makes.

  29. He already followed up with a real reporter after the press conference that he messed up wording it like that, and that Russ is 100% the guy.

    Like the fifth case of “much ado about nothing” regarding the Broncos this week. Keep trying to tear em down though.

  30. winninaintsinnin says:
    December 1, 2022 at 11:24 am
    Not only is Russ better than Elway, he’s better than Manning who in turn is better than Elway.
    ———————————
    I realize you’re trying to pump-up your boy Russ, but really what your doing is making us all recognize the fact that Elway was a really bad quarterback who has no business being in the Hall of Fame. As for Russ, how can he be a first-ballot HOFer when during his entire career he’s failed to even receive a single vote for league MVP.

  31. roughingthepasser says:
    December 1, 2022 at 8:51 am
    Your GM just handed out the fattest contract in history so of course you’re not going to bench his quarterback.
    They are stuck with Wilson for several years because of that contract.

    The Broncos are stuck with Wilson for several years but the HC and the GM better start strategizing about how to make the team better right now. If that means QB2 plays, so be it. At this point I see Hackett gone at the end of this year and another HC coming in to try to salvage something from the wreck that is Russell. What respected HC would want to come to the Broncos knowing that Wilson is the QB? Maybe a proven HC comes in with the condition he doesn’t have to play Wilson if he if he thinks it’s in the best interest of the team not to do so.

  32. winninaintsinnin says:

    Russ > Manning > Elway

    Lock for first ballot HOF QB

    _________________________________________________

    No, no he’s not. I don’t recall Manning or Elway’s former teammates speaking poorly about them. Because they were leaders. You can’t be a leader without respect, and according to current and former teammates of Wilson, he’s doesn’t have the respect of the locker room.

    Welcome to Celebrity Quarterback Hell, Broncos Country. You ‘re now stuck with a team leader who no one wants to follow. And why would they? He hasn’t earned any credibility with the other players. Who don’t have their own offices.

  33. After seeing a couple of commenters write that Russell Wilson is a first ballot Hall of Famer, I had to double check the date.
    For a second I thought it was the 1st of April, not December…

    ——-

    RW has a paid online influence PR team, I’ve heard it called “Team 3” before. Not sure what they call themselves but they are out there working hard everyday.

    100% one or two of these guys yelling how great Russell still is works on Team 3 doing their best to earn their paycheck and somehow keep Russell’s head above water in all the comments sections they can find.

    Not really working though, it’s been so bad they just look like off the deep end fanatics who don’t even really know what they’re talking about.

    In Peyton Manning’s last year when it was obvious he could no longer do it, nobody was sitting there saying “he’s still awesome look at all these records he has”. He’s still better than John Elway!

    Think about it logically for a second. Would any Bronco fan talk crap about John Elway? So exactly who is this doing so trying to back up Russell? A Russell Wilson fan but not a Bronco or Seahawks fan….hmmmmm.

    A couple new guys showed up in every broncos message board this year and have been doing the same thing.

    I see you Team 3. It ain’t working.

  34. Southpaw says:
    December 1, 2022 at 12:06 pm
    He already followed up with a real reporter after the press conference that he messed up wording it like that, and that Russ is 100% the guy.

    Like the fifth case of “much ado about nothing” regarding the Broncos this week. Keep trying to tear em down though.
    ——————-
    You would hope so…..smh…

  35. I can’t believe this is a discussion.

    Total TDs over 16 years Elway 300
    Total TDs over 18 years Manning 539
    Total TDs over 10.5 years Wilson 308

    Ints over 16 years Elway 226
    Ints over 18 years Manning 251
    Ints over 10.5 years Wilson 92

    Completion % Elway 56.9%
    Completion % Manning 65.3%
    Completion % Wilson 64.6%

    QB rating career Elway 79.9
    QB rating career Manning 96.5
    QB rating career Wilson 100.5

    Rushing yards career Elway 3407 4.4 y/c 33 TDs
    Rushing yards career Manning 667 1 y/c 3 TDs
    Rushing yards career Wilson 4826 5.5 y/c 25 TDs

    Who isn’t a first ballot HOF QB? The fact you think this is some kind of PR push by Wilson simply shows that you have no depth to your football knowledge.

    The numbers are the numbers. Denver has one of the top QBs of all time and simply don’t have the pieces surrounding him.

  36. You really think that Wilson has a PR team dedicated to convincing the knuckleheads on this site (and yes I include myself) that he’s still good?

    A bit self important aren’t we?

  37. winninaintsinnin says:
    December 1, 2022 at 9:47 am
    You do know that John Elway, when he played, was a poor man’s Russel Wilson, right?

    Wilson has 8 more career TD passes than Elway, and got them in 46 fewer games.

    Meanwhile to get those 300 TD passes, Elway sacrificed 226 interceptions. To get his 308 Wilson has only thrown 96 – let that sink in.

    Wilson’s career completion percentage is 64.6% while Elway’s was 56.9%. Wilson’s completion percentage THIS YEAR, while those terrible, fair weather Denver fans want him replaced, is 2% above Elway’s career percentage.

    This is why Wilson is a first ballot HOF QB, because he’s better than Elway was.
    ———————————–
    Boy, you hate to bring down a “Broncos’ Hero,” but when you look at those stats…..

  38. bahoda12s says:
    December 1, 2022 at 2:13 pm
    winninaintsinnin says:

    Russ > Manning > Elway

    Lock for first ballot HOF QB

    _________________________________________________

    No, no he’s not. I don’t recall Manning or Elway’s former teammates speaking poorly about them. Because they were leaders. You can’t be a leader without respect, and according to current and former teammates of Wilson, he’s doesn’t have the respect of the locker room.

    Welcome to Celebrity Quarterback Hell, Broncos Country. You ‘re now stuck with a team leader who no one wants to follow. And why would they? He hasn’t earned any credibility with the other players. Who don’t have their own offices.
    —————————————-
    The reason he is a “Celebrity Quarterback” is because he has been so Successful on & off the field. If the rest of the team does not recognize these achievements and are unwilling to follow, that is on them, not him….smh….

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