The Denver Broncos are in the market for a new head coach and George Paton is currently in the process of interviewing 10 candidates to fill the position. Luke Getsy is among the more peculiar candidates for the position. He has six years of experience in the NFL, all with the Green Bay Packers. He was hired to serve as one of Mike McCarthy’s quality control coaches in 2014, was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2016, and returned from one year as Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator to become Aaron Rodgers’ quarterback coach in 2019. This year he added passing game coordinator to his duties, but with Rodgers, Matt LaFleur, and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hacket in the building his role in the play calling process is extremely murky.
To dig into Getsy and what he could potentially add to the Broncos, I reached out to the Acme Packing Company’s Evan “Tex” Western.
1st and 10
It certainly feels like a Nathaniel Hackett or Getsy hire could help the Broncos chances at landing Aaron Rodgers. Is that hope unfounded?
Western: I suppose theoretically this could be the case, but I don’t think that Rodgers’ decision about 2022 is going to be about whether someone he knows is going to be the head coach on a different team. It’s almost certainly going to be about whether he feels that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has done enough to mend the problems that Rodgers perceived with their relationship. If the answer to that is no, then having familiarity with a head coach might be helpful in picking a destination, but considering Rodgers was still evidently very happy with the Packers’ current coaching staff even as he was planning to sit out this summer, I don’t think that will really move the needle much.
Aaron Rodgers says Nathaniel Hackett and Luke Getsy of the #Packers have the qualities to be a head coach in the #NFL - exactly what are those qualities? #Broncos #BroncosCountry @DenverChannel— Lionel Bienvenu (@lionelbienvenu) January 13, 2022
here's Aaron --> pic.twitter.com/84Q18iqXvP
2nd and 12
Getsy’s been the Packers passing game coordinator for the last two seasons and I’d say Aaron Rodgers had two MVP caliber seasons during that time. But with that said, Matt LaFleur is the play caller and Hackett is given a ton of credit for the red zone success. What does Getsy add to that equation, and what should Broncos’ Country expect if he’s brought on as the head coach or coordinator in Denver?
Western: The Packers actually divide up the game-planning duties across the entire offensive coaching staff, with many different people playing a part. While Hackett does a lot of the red zone work, Getsy’s focus area is apparently in the offense’s approach to third downs, and the Packers have ranked in the top ten in third down conversion rate each of the last two seasons.
It’s tough to say what Getsy’s offensive philosophy would be, however. He has worked under both Mike McCarthy and Matt LaFleur in Green Bay, and his one year as a college offensive coordinator (2018) came under Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State. That’s a variety of different offensive schemes, and I think it’s unclear if Getsy is attached to any one particular philosophy over others. Instead, I suspect that he would be inclined to build his scheme around the talent at his disposal, similarly to how LaFleur has adapted many of his core concepts to the elite talents on the field in Green Bay. At Mississippi State, the offense ran through the legs of quarterback Nick Fitzgerald in a spread-run attack. In Green Bay, it’s the play-action, RPO-based LaFleur offense. I think a Getsy offense would borrow concepts from each of his former bosses to create something a little bit unique.
This seems important for Broncos Country digging into Nathaniel Hacket and Luke Getsy.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 13, 2022
Packers have been a top 10 RZ offense each of the last 3 seasons.
They've been a top 3 3rd down offense each of the last two seasons. https://t.co/yBZ4BjRPXk
3rd and 5
The Broncos are a team with a talented supporting cast held back by one of the worst quarterback rooms in the NFL. Is there any reason to believe a Getsy offense could squeeze more production out of the unit?
Western: As a former college quarterback himself, Getsy can see the field through the same lens as his signal-caller. That has worked remarkably well for LaFleur these past three years, and Getsy’s work with Rodgers — who appeared to be on a downswing before LaFleur and company arrived in 2019 — suggests that he can elevate his QBs. His time as a wide receivers coach also gives him some valuable experience in working with that position, so he would likely be able to help players at both positions develop together. If you’re looking for a QB “guru” to take over the head coaching job, Getsy might be the best option out there this year.
Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett said he talked with QB coach Luke Getsy about doing their Broncos head coach interviews together and doing a Step Brothers routine. Hackett said he went into Getsy’s office right when he found out he’d be interviewing because he was pumped for him. pic.twitter.com/IeGfWQerpu— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 13, 2022
4th and 3
George Paton emphasized leadership for all phases during his press conference on Monday. Do you think Getsy could provide that if hired as head coach?
Western: Absolutely - LaFleur has thoroughly praised Getsy’s communication abilities and leadership skills, while players from the likes of Rodgers to Davante Adams and others have done the same. Adams even mentioned Getsy’s work as the Packers’ receivers coach as a reason why he has become an elite player (Getsy oversaw that position in 2016 and 2017, when Adams had his early breakout seasons) and talked about how much he enjoyed working with him. He also has a feel for what a great locker room culture looks like, as this Packers team looks, feels, and sounds like the closest team in recent memory.
This was Matt LaFleur's best playcall/design so far this season, and you will never convince me otherwise https://t.co/WOVWDuDa6s— Tex Western (@TexWestern) November 22, 2021
Do you think Luke Getsy would be a good head coach for the Denver Broncos? Do you think he could be a good offensive coordinator?
Western: I don’t think you need to be the playcaller on either side of the football to be a quality head coach in the NFL, but it is worth noting that Getsy has never called plays outside of a few preseason series. LaFleur of course handles those duties in Green Bay while Moorhead did it at Mississippi State. Instead, my concern with Getsy as a head coach would be his ability to assemble and coordinate an entire coaching staff and develop an overall team philosophy. With that said, I believe that Getsy’s ability to connect with players, his experience in a number of different offensive systems, his own playing background as a quarterback, and his overall demeanor is one that will result in him getting a head coaching job at some point. I’m just not confident that NFL teams will see him as being ready to make that jump without a stint as an NFL offensive coordinator or a college head coach first.
Honestly, it feels a bit to me like he’s following LaFleur’s career trajectory. LaFleur worked as a QBs coach for several years, then got an OC job with Sean McVay calling plays, then spent a year as the Titans’ playcaller before getting the Packers job. I think an OC job is the appropriate next step for Getsy, where he can take the reins and develop an entire offensive system. The skills and personality all seem to fit, I just think that experience and demonstrated success with coordinator-level responsibility is valuable and something that teams are looking for.
Do you want the Broncos to hire Luke Getsy?
Yes - as a head coach
Yes - as an offensive coordinator