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Hackett has no plans to change operations before Jags game - ‘going to keep the status quo’

The coach still believes the problem is execution.

NFL: New York Jets at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re curious what is at the heart of the Broncos’ offensive woes, head coach Nathaniel Hackett is more than happy to answer that question.

As long as you agree it’s just needing “to execute better.”

Because as far as he’s concerned, the overall operation is “going really well” and they’re just missing a few beats here and there.

“It’s one play here, one play there that determines the outcome of every game. To make plays gives us a different outcome and a different record,” he said Monday. “We just have to do better, and we have to find a way to make those plays. We have to find a way to make better schemes in those situations. We have to compete more, and we have to do whatever it takes to be able to find a way to win.”

Not all of that is wrong, of course.

The Broncos have lost by a touchdown or less in four of the five losses and by just a field goal or less in three.

And when he says they “have to find a way to make better schemes in those situations,” he is absolutely correct.

The problem is few of us believes he will do that - as he demonstrates a total lack of situational awareness every single week.

On the first drive of the third quarter, Brett Rypien passed six times in a row, all from shotgun - not a single run play included - before the Broncos had to punt on 4th-and-1. This drive after having essentially three successful offensive drives in their final three drives of the first half.

“We wanted to come out there and run the ball, but sometimes the situation determines that you go to a couple of passes to try to get a couple of chunks and so forth,” he said. “Yeah, in the end, we have to execute better. We ended up running the ball a little bit and in that fourth quarter, we started going up-tempo. That’s where a lot of the passes started to show up there at the end.”

Again, he’s right.

Except several of those “had-to” passes seemed like poor choices in the down and distance.

There was throwing a 25-yard deep ball in the end zone to Sutton, who was covered by Sauce Gardner, on 4th-and-3 with two minutes to go (incomplete, should have been DPI but whatever Bill Vinovich). Then in the ensuing drive because the defense had gotten the ball back, there was a 17-yard deep ball to Sutton on 3rd-and-10 (intercepted, but then ruled incomplete). And as if those two mistakes hadn’t sunk in, there was the 45-yard deep ball on 4th-and-10 with 37 seconds to play to KJ Hamler, who was covered by guessed it, Gardner (short and incomplete).

Squandered opportunities.

Opportunities Hackett sees as player mistakes more than coaching misfires.

Sometimes Hackett gets close to admitting some issues. He was asked if he struggles with his schemes not translating well to the game being played, so he explained his process for deciding the game plan:

First he looks at the opposing coach. Then he considers what to do versus different schemes. In practice he explains to players why he’s calling certain plays and then hopes to see it “capitalized on during the game.” Ultimately if the play doesn’t work, he said, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

“So I think those are things that we are always constantly evaluating. Looking to make sure that we’re doing the right things with the players that we have,” he said. “We’re always going to look to try to get better and make sure that we’re getting better. Right now, there are some opportunities, but maybe those aren’t the right opportunities, and we’ll evaluate everything.”

Hackett seems to do a lot of evaluating. And he’s right to point out that “maybe those aren’t the right opportunities.” But there are no examples of Hackett recognizing the randomness of his play calling and improving it.

When it comes to specifically addressing “internal operations” of managing the game, he thinks things “are going really well.”

“Right now, on a short week, we’re going to keep the status quo,” Hackett said after being asked if he’d make any “internal changes” for the London game. “We’re all going to work together to build a great plan. I feel like our operation has been going well.”

This from a coach whose offense:

Scored only 9 points Sunday

Scored only 100 points total through seven games (that’s a bad average, if you’re wondering)

Scored only five passing and three rushing touchdowns in seven games

Scored a total of five points in the third quarter all season, and two of those points came from the defense.

The offense struggled on its first two drives to get out of its own territory, but on the third drive of the game, Denver took more than 13 minutes to run 13 plays and score its lone touchdown.

On its next two drives, the Broncos settled for field goals but moved the ball well - something Hackett was happy about.

But the offense could not maintain that momentum after the half.

“We just didn’t convert on some third downs. That kind of stalled us, but we’re going to keep going how we are, and we’ll evaluate everything; we always do,” he said. “We always want to get better and do whatever we can to help this team get better as coaches.”

And his ideas for doing that are...vague to say the least.

“I think it’s so important to let the guys get out there, be together and work through it,” he said. “Everybody needs to look from within because we put ourselves in this position and we have to get ourselves out of this position, it’s that simple.”

A simple idea, no doubt. Not an easy fix since the cure-all is winning games.

“It starts with me getting up in front of the team and holding everybody accountable, including myself and the coaches, on ways to make things better,” he said. “As long as we keep that communication open at all times, I think that will always keep everybody together so we can band together and get ourselves out of this hole and get us out of this losing streak. ... you have to get on a run, and we need to get on that run. We need to start winning some football games.”


What’s at the root of the problems for offense?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Play calling with no rhyme or reason
    (1174 votes)
  • 10%
    Players not executing
    (150 votes)
  • 1%
    (18 votes)
  • 1%
    Bad communication
    (22 votes)
  • 4%
    Not enough talent on the roster
    (72 votes)
  • 1%
    Refs ;)
    (22 votes)
1458 votes total Vote Now