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Nathaniel Hackett will reportedly be hired as head coach of the Broncos

George Paton’s hiring committee are reportedly deciding on the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator as the 17th head coach in franchise history.

NFL: AUG 30 Preseason - Jaguars at Buccaneers Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After an extensive search that led to interviewing 10 different candidates, George Paton and the Denver Broncos are reportedly hiring Nathaniel Hackett as their next head coach.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero the Broncos will hire their top choice for the job.

Hackett, 42, had two interviews with Paton, the only candidate to do so. His second interview lasted more than eight hours in Denver. The Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator since 2019, he has 14 years of NFL experience and eight years as an NFL offensive coordinator. The Packers offense has finished the last two seasons among the league’s best, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has won back to back MVP’s.

There’s no way to ignore the Rodgers connection in the Hackett hire. Shortly before the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the reigning MVP wanted to leave the only franchise he’d ever played for. The Broncos loomed as the favorite to trade for Rodgers throughout the remainder of the 2021 offseason, but he ultimately returned to the Packers for his 17th season. Following a 13-4 regular season, Green Bay lost in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers. Afterwards Rodgers said, “I don’t want to be a part of a rebuild if I keep playing.”

Thanks to shrewd management by Paton, the Broncos are well positioned to win in the short-term if Rodgers follows Hackett to Denver. Hackett has the resume to suggest he’ll be a good coach even if the Broncos do not trade for the 38-year-old Rodgers, however.

Before he coached in Wisconsin, Hackett was the quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions during Hackett’s first season with the franchise. In 2017 with Hackett calling plays, the Jags finished the season sixth in points per game and tenth in RBSDM’s Estimated Points Added per Play (EPA) metric on their way to the AFC Championship game.

Prior to his arrival in Florida, Hackett was the Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator for a pair of seasons. Four different quarterbacks earned starts over this time, the best being former Bronco Kyle Orton, who signed with the Bills after threatening to retire from the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. With Hackett calling plays, Orton went on to complete 64.2% of his passes for 3018 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in 12 games.

According to Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper, the leading candidate to be Hackett’s defensive coordinator is Los Angeles Rams secondary coach/pass game coordinator Ejiro Evero. The Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala reported that the two are best friends since they played together at UC Davis. Evero has never called plays before.

Alper also reports the Broncos will request an interview with the Packers’ offensive line coach/run game coordinator Adam Stenavich for their offensive coordinator position. Stenavich bounced around the NFL on the fridge of a few rosters before he got his start in coaching with the Michigan Wolverines in 2012. Since then he’s been an offensive line coach with Northern Arizona, San Jose State, and the Packers. It is worth noting that this could mark a dramatic shakeup with the offensive staff as Stenavich’s expertise overlaps with incumbent offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

Long considered the second choice to Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Hackett emerged as the favorite for the job after he was the first to travel to Denver to meet with Paton’s search committee. The initial interview turned into an eight hour chat that lasted well into the evening, and Quinn never came for his own second interview with Paton.

At the end of the day, Paton’s thorough search led him to landing on Hackett as the replacement for Vic Fangio.

Poll

What do you think of the Broncos decision to hire Nathaniel Hackett to be head coach?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Love it!
    (1119 votes)
  • 28%
    Like it.
    (881 votes)
  • 31%
    We’ll see. Need a QB.
    (967 votes)
  • 2%
    Not a fan.
    (70 votes)
  • 1%
    Fire Paton!
    (39 votes)
3076 votes total Vote Now