Inglewood, Colo. — The Denver Broncos First-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired on Monday.
Hackett’s firing ends the shortest tenure of any non-interim head coach in franchise history. The Broncos’ new ownership — the Walton-Penner Group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, daughter Carrie Walton Penner and son-in-law Greg Penner — quickly lost patience with a team that had one of the league’s best defenses but an offense that simply couldn’t score.
” followed extensive conversations with [general manager] George [Paton] and our ownership group, we determined that a new direction would ultimately be in the best interest of the Broncos,” Penner said in a statement. “This change is now made out of respect for everyone involved and allows us to begin an immediate search. New head coach.
“Going forward, we will carefully evaluate every aspect of our football operations and make the necessary changes to restore this franchise’s winning tradition.”
Penner added that Patton will assist in the coaching search. The team also scheduled a press conference for Tuesday at noon ET.
the former Baltimore Ravens Assistant coach Jerry Rosberg, who Denver hired in September to help make game-management decisions, has been named the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
At one point this season, the Broncos boasted the No. 1 scoring defense and the No. 32 scoring offense. The Broncos also missed the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year, the longest playoff drought since the franchise’s first year, when it missed the playoffs between 1960 and 1976.
That’s a far cry from Hall of Famer Pat Bolen’s three-decade run as owner, when the Broncos went to more Super Bowls (seven) than losing seasons. This season also marked the fifth time in the past seven years that the Broncos have allowed fewer than 20 points per game. Until Hackett’s firing, Josh McDaniels had the team’s shortest tenure as a non-interim head coach in the post-AFL-NFL merger era. He was fired in 2010 with four games remaining in his second season on the job. The Broncos were 3-9 when he was fired.
Hackett, 42, was hired in January after serving three seasons as the franchise’s 18th head coach. Green Bay PackersOffensive coordinator under Matt LaFleur. At the time, Patton called Hackett a “dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the start of the process.”
Then-Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and Dallas Cowboys Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was also a finalist for the role. O’Connell was later hired Minnesota Vikings, whose resurgent offense has led them to a 12-3 start. Shortly after Hackett’s hiring, the Broncos traded five draft picks, including two first-rounders and two second-rounders, as well as three players. Seattle Seahawks To acquire the quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson signed a five-year, $245 million contract extension just before the start of the season.
But the Broncos’ offseason excitement quickly faded as Hackett’s in-game decision-making was questioned early in the season.
In Week 1, he has the call kicker Brandon McManus Wilson’s 64-yard field goal attempt instead of trying to convert a fourth-and-5 in the final minute of a 17–16 loss to Seattle proved controversial.
“Looking back on it, definitely should have gone for it,” Hackett said the day after the loss. “One of those things, you look back on it and say, ‘Sure we should have gone for it; we missed the field goal.’ But in that situation we had a plan, we knew the number 46 was there.”
Game management problems continued in the following weeks — fans even counting the game clock during some home games — leading to Rosberg’s hiring. But there was a disconnect between Hackett, Wilson and the crime. Hackett regularly emphasized that he wanted to “build this thing around [Wilson]”And do whatever Wilson is “comfortable” on offense even though Wilson has repeatedly said he’s comfortable “doing a lot of things.”
At 15.5 points per game, the Broncos are at their lowest points this season since 1966.
Injuries to frontline players such as left tackles Garrett BolesAppropriate creator Javante WilliamsWide receiver Tim Patrick and outside linebacker Randy Gregory Of course that didn’t help matters. But as the season began, there was much less conversation in the public domain about Hackett’s willingness to think outside the box in his teaching methods and why the Broncos’ offense has historically been so bad. Five of the Broncos’ first six losses and eight total have been one-score games.
That wasn’t the case Sunday, as the Denver defense saw the Rams score on eight of their nine possessions. Additionally, the backup quarterback Brett Rypien and the guard Dalton Reasoner Wilson exchanged words on the sideline after a sequence in the third quarter when he was sacked on back-to-back plays.
Hackett pulled Gregory from the game twice, once in the first half when he was flagged for throwing his helmet after a Rams touchdown and later when he was flagged for a late hit on the Los Angeles quarterback. Baker Mayfield. “Seconds later, we took him out — it’s unacceptable,” Hackett said.
As the teams crowded the middle of the field on their way to their locker rooms after the game, Gregory and the Rams guard Big Abushi Words were exchanged — over the helmet — and Gregory punched Abushi in the helmet. Abushi responded with a punch of his own before they separated. Gregory and Abushi were both A game is suspended By the NFL on Monday.
With one of the wealthiest ownership groups in the NFL as well as a fan base rabid enough, even now, to give the Broncos their 1970 home sellout streak, the Broncos’ head coaching role will be an interesting one.