Nathaniel Hackett, who was hired by the Denver Broncos in early 2022, was fired before he could even complete a full season with the team. Unfortunately for the Broncos, the Hackett hire was a huge swing and miss. As frustrating as it is, the Broncos are back in the head coaching search within the same season that they hired one. Until a new head coach is hired, Jerry Rosburg is temporarily in charge of things.
Ironically, Rosburg was hired by Hackett mid-season to help with gameday decision-making and other things that veteran head coaches would normally learn over time. Come to think of it, Hackett having to hire a guy to help with these things was a pretty big red flag and probably hinted toward his eventual demise.
Months ago, Rosburg was enjoying the retired life. Now he finds himself leading an NFL team in their final games of the season. The team he has taken over for though is having a historically bad season.
The Broncos season has been over for months. So not much is expected of Rosburg and the Broncos. If anything, most Broncos fans probably wish the season was actually over weeks ago.
Rosburg’s first game as interim head coach was against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that the Broncos haven’t beaten since 2015. Again, not much was expected of the Broncos this game.
But something felt...different?
This game was actually fun to watch (something I haven’t said in a long time.) Obviously, the team wasn’t going to do a complete 180° after Hackett’s departure. But the Broncos actually came to play. Had it not been for a few blown calls by the refs, the Broncos would have probably won the game.
Rosburg, who has a history of coaching special teams, must have worked his magic on the Broncos' special teams too. The Broncos' special teams unit actually made some solid plays and didn’t look abysmal (like they have for the past few seasons.)
While the Broncos couldn’t come away with a win, the game just felt different. On top of that, Rosburg’s demeanor has been a breath of fresh air. Instead of getting that scripted-sounding, post-loss spiel that we heard too often from Hackett, Rosburg has been giving some quality answers. Answers from the heart.
“I’m heartbroken for those guys,” said Rosburg. “Because they deserved to win, and I’m heartbroken for our Denver fans because of this whole streak thing... it’s got to stop.”
Rosburg understands the frustrations of the fans. He knows how upsetting it is to have such a long losing streak to a division rival.
While Rosburg isn’t sure of his future with the Broncos, he does believe in the Broncos’ future.
“We’re planting seeds. We want this thing to grow. I may not see this bloom, but it’ll be rich at some point in time.”
That attitude is just so refreshing.
There is a lot of coaching turnover in the league. But despite who the Broncos end up hiring, maybe there is a spot for Rosburg somewhere. Special teams? An advisor somewhere? Whatever. As long as he’s on staff, I’ll be happy.