After encountering a number of game management issues through the first two weeks of the season, the Broncos have reportedly made a key addition to Nathaniel Hackett’s staff ahead of Week 3.
Hackett hired longtime NFL assistant Jerry Rosburg to aid the first-year head coach as he continues to acclimate to the role, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reported Saturday. ESPN’s Jeff Legwold later confirmed Rosburg, 66, will serve as a senior assistant tasked with helping Hackett manage game-day operations, and will be in the coaches’ booth for the Broncos’ meeting with the 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday Night Football.
Saturday’s news marks a return to the sidelines for Rosburg after he retired from coaching in 2019 to conclude his 40-year career. An NFL assistant since 2001, the widely-respected coach left the NFL following the ’18 campaign after wrapping up his 11th season as the Ravens’ special teams coordinator, where he also worked as an assistant head coach.
Rosburg joins the Broncos three weeks into Hackett’s first tenure as a head coach. The former offensive coordinator has endured a number of growing pains as he continues to adjust to the job, facing waves of criticism in the process due to a few head-scratching decisions in Weeks 1 and 2.
After losing to the Seahawks, 17-16, in the season opener, Hackett admitted the team “should’ve gone for it” on fourth-and-five after opting to attempt a 64-yard field goal that sailed wide left as time expired. The woes continued against the Texans last week as Denver was assessed two delay of game penalties, adding to their league-leading four on the year, and dealt with clock management issues throughout a pedestrian 16–9 win.
Hackett addressed his struggles in the build-up to Sunday’s game against San Francisco. He told reporters on Monday he was “very confident” his staff would be able to figure things out and not need to hire a veteran offensive assistant similar to the hiring of Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant.
“I think right now, I’m very confident in our staff and everybody that we have,” he said, per ESPN. “I think everything is always open in the air. But for us, everybody is good. 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.’’
Just two days later, Hackett admitted the year “definitely has been a transition,” but vowed to continue to work through the issues with Russell Wilson and Co. as the season progresses.
“I think that you have always been a coordinator, you have always been from the standpoint that you want to score touchdowns [and] that’s always your initial gut reaction,” Hackett said. “As I am learning more, you have to remove that emotion as an offensive play caller. You have to look at it from a head coach standpoint [and] what is best for the team at that time.”
Through two weeks, the Broncos have been the NFL’s most penalized team with 25 accepted penalties by their opponents.
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