The Denver Broncos have fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett. NFL insider Tom Pelissero broke the news Monday morning.
The Broncos brass, helmed now by the new ownership group — the Walton/Penners — pulled the plug on Hackett after his 11th loss. The Broncos were decimated 51-14 on Christmas Day by the Los Angeles Rams, humiliated in every respect.
From the scoreboard itself to Bronco-on-Bronco fights happening on the sideline to Russell Wilson continuing to look like a shell of his former self, this team as led by Hackett had become a wounded animal. The Walton/Penner group put it out of its misery.
How will history remember the Hackett era in Denver? It won’t.
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I’m not sure you can even call it an ‘era’ as it lasted just 15 games. You can’t even say Hackett went one and done. The Broncos, for the first time in the Super Bowl era, fired a head coach before his first season was even over.
Hackett earned that dismissal with prejudice. From botched game-management decisions early on in the season, to his lack of preparation in getting the offense to snap the ball on time, to presiding over the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL, to eventually panicking and relinquishing play-calling duties, literally every turn Hackett took as head coach telegraphed his incompetence.
He wasn’t ready for this gig. The rumor is the Broncos hired Hackett, instead of Dan Quinn or Kevin O’Connell, because GM George Paton believed it gave him the inside track to coaxing Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay.
When that didn’t happen, Paton thought he was making lemonade when Wilson fell into his lap. Hackett turned out to be the worst possible coach to assume coaching stewardship over Wilson.
Greg Penner released a statement confirming Hackett’s firing and revealing his confidence in Paton as GM.
The proof is in the pudding. Hackett is fired with a 4-11 record. We’ll see who the Broncos tap as interim head coach to preside over the last two games.
The Walton/Penners just made it known to all the 2023 head-coaching candidates that the NFL’s richest owners are looking to spend top dollar on the right guy to fix this god-awful mess.
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