It’s very possible that by the time anyone reads this post live, Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett will have been removed of his duties.
Following yet another migraine-inducing performance by the now 3-8 Broncos, a loss to the the (pre-game) 3-8 Carolina Panthers, Hackett addressed the media by regurgitating the same generic word vomit he has been spewing out just about after every loss.
It wouldn’t be the most stunning thing if ownership and/or George Paton listened, decided they were sick of hearing the same excuses on repeat with nothing to show anything is being done about it.
It would not be all that shocking if the powers that be had been giving him just a little bit more leash, given how close most losses have been, and decided after getting stomped 23-10 (ironically close to the 24-10 Super Bowl score over the Panthers in 2016) that enough was enough.
Hackett has done nothing to help himself on the field, and he hasn’t done much more at the podium.
“It’s about accountability,” Hackett said after the loss. “Everybody’s got to see what they can do themselves to get better. It goes in all three phases. All three phases have to be better, and that starts with me. I have to be better. The coaches have to be better, and the players have to be better.”
If that generic word soup sounds familiar, it’s only because he’s said it on a weekly basis. Accountability...it starts with him...turn tape over...Accountability...it starts with...
The tired commentary comes as his seat seemingly becomes increasingly hot, as he is one of the most talked about, if not THE most talked about, current head coaches in the NFL as a candidate to be let go. He was asked about this as well.
Troy Renck of Denver 7 News asked Hackett after the game if he was at all concerned about his immediate status following the latest loss.
“I mean, it’s about the team,” he said. “I just want to find a way to win football games. That’s so important to me, these coaches, these players...they work so hard, and I just want to be there for them to be successful out on the field.”
If it sounds like he just walked around the question and instead answered with another string of generic garbage, well...he did. But that also is probably the move of someone who, indeed, is nervous about his status.
This game very well may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The offense was even more inept than they have been in recent months and against the 22nd ranked defense.
The team broke it’s streak of “so close” losses, dropping the game by 13 (and it wasn’t as close as the score indicated).
Ultra-expensive franchise QB Russell Wilson had just 22 yards passing until less than a minute left in the first half and again looked inconsistent at best and just flat out bad at worst. A sideline altercation between the QB and defensive lineman Mike Purcell made the rounds on social media, as the latter appeared to scream in the face of Wilson, who seemed to just kind of...take it.
Each player brushed it off as no big deal, but Purcell’s body language oozed frustration when asked about it.
It may have been a bit overblown, but there is definitely logic to the thought that frustrations are beginning to boil over, especially as the defense begins to fatigue from carrying the load for so long.
Nothing as things currently stand favor Hackett making it to a second year, but after another loss to a bad team, after more generic postgame comments where nothing comes of them, and now after a very visible representation of the imbalance of the Broncos team and disappointment of the results suggests he may be done before anyone even has a chance to read this.
If it is the case he is let go before this goes live, my apologies for wasting anyone’s time. If not, I’ll likely be here next week around the same time saying the same things.
Broncos ownership and front office: the move is yours.