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.