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Hackett has no intention of giving up play calling

The head coach sees no reason to change roles or operations when it comes to play calling and game management. He just needs “to clean things up.”

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The day after the Broncos’ ugly win over the Texans, head coach Nathaniel Hackett seemed a little more attuned to his ineptitude in managing the game.

But no more accountable.

Following the game Sunday, the coach was asked why he was struggling and if the play calling along with managing the entire game was overwhelming.

Apparently “no” is the answer.

“I think I just need to be sure I clean up exactly what I’m hearing, where I’m going with it, and make sure I’m on the same page for ‘Russ’,” he said, adding it should make the offense more efficient.

Referring to his delay of game penalties on the field goals, the coach reiterated during Monday’s presser that they happened because he was debating whether to go for it on fourth or kick.

“I need to do better at making decisions faster and quicker and getting that information to the quarterback and being on the same page with him,” he said. “It has to improve.”

That’s an understatement.

Hackett also likely got the message that Broncos Country is not feeling very confident about his ability to call plays AND manage the game as half a dozen questions related to whether he’s planning any changes when it comes to play calling duties.

“I think I’ll continue the play calling. I think that’s been pretty efficient up to this point. We’ve done a good job moving the ball. We’ve had a good plan from that standpoint. We just have to finish those drives,” he said. “I think from the game management standpoint, we just have to tighten that whole thing up. A lot of us—we are all working together for the first time, so we just want to be sure we’re more efficient in that and have the ability to make better decisions and quicker decisions.”

Although the coach said they are always evaluating everything and how to do it better, he said he’s confident in his current staff and doesn’t see the need to add a veteran coach to help with game management.

“I think right now, I’m very confident in our staff and everybody that we have. ...We just have to work things out together, we have to communicate better. It starts with me and getting the proper information that I need,” he said.

The coach added that he gets excited in a game and tends to be aggressive in the play calling.

“Sometimes that might not be the right decision,” he acknowledged. “I just need to be sure that all the right information is given to me at the right times so we can make the right decision for those. That just has to be better.”

Hackett primarily seems to think his biggest issues are getting information in time so he can decide the next play and get it to his quarterback.

“When you’re calling plays, you want to naturally get the next play going. I think just getting that information maybe a little bit earlier,” he said. “Those are the things that we’re just talking through and going through to make sure that I have all the right information.”

But ultimately the most important thing, Hackett said, is being on the same page with his quarterback.

“It’s letting him know, ‘Hey, we may have four downs here,’ and I think I can do a better job in making him aware of that.”

When it comes to the red zone woes, Hackett does see some problems with his play calling there.

“First and foremost, we have to make we have the best plays called, and I think that always starts with me,” Hackett said. “I want to make sure that we always have the best things, and we have to make sure that we’re giving the ball to our playmakers, whether it’s Courtland, Javonte, Melvin... any of those guys. I want to be sure that we’re continually getting the right schemes for down there and then executing it properly.”

Wilson said after the game that he’s actually encouraged by the fact that most of their mistakes - in the red zone and elsewhere - are easily correctable.

“When you think about the red zone, it comes down to making a crazy catch, a crazy run, a crazy play. That’s what it is,” he said. “It really comes down to these minuscule things and we’re growing together and we’re going to fix that.”

Wilson also pointed out it’s not a genius-level concept.

“It’s not overly thought. We just have to believe in the next one and the next one is going to be a touchdown. That’s the thing about the red zone, sometimes they’re going to make stops, and the next play, you’re going to make the next one. That’s the mentality you have to have.”


How well are you trusting this process for Hackett and his players?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    100%. They’ll turn it around.
    (255 votes)
  • 58%
    50/50. There’s a chance Hackett still doesn’t really know what he’s doing.
    (671 votes)
  • 19%
    0%. I’ll be surprised if he figures out by the end of the season!
    (229 votes)
1155 votes total Vote Now

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