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Broncos' Best In-House Interim HC Option if Hackett Gets Fired

Who is the Denver Broncos' best interim head coach option if Nathaniel Hackett gets fired?

The Denver Broncos are far below expectations, and fans want head coach Nathaniel Hackett fired sooner rather than later. But, of course, that would entail an in-season firing, which is hard to argue against with the offense's performance this season. 

Even though the quality of play on the offensive line and, more importantly, the poor-quality quarterback performance the Broncos are getting from Russell Wilson are issues, Hackett isn't blameless. 

Hackett's scheme has been reworked with heavy input from Wilson regarding what he wants to do, and it's on the head coach to put his foot down and essentially force what works with this offense. 

Despite the issues with Hackett, the scheme is getting receivers open in a timely manner, but they're getting missed. When the offense gets Wilson working on-schedule, the offense looks great. 

QBs coach Klint Kubiak was handed the play-calling duties, and he turned Wilson into a glorified game manager. In the game against the Raiders, Wilson threw six of his 31 passes beyond 10 yards, with just as many thrown behind the line of scrimmage. 

Despite the issues of the quarterback, it's on Hackett to put his foot down and put the team above all, and call plays that the offense can run. He did this with the run game, going away from concepts the Broncos don't have the personnel to run. 

It didn't improve the run game but slightly improved Denver's efficiency. Not a significant difference, but it shows some presence of mind by a coach ridiculed for not wanting to adapt the passing game. I wonder why. 

Hackett's clock management and decision-making to start the season were so terrible that the Broncos hired another coach to take over that purview. Then he handed over play-calling duties. Plus, creating the opening 15-to-18-play script to open a game is a process that involves multiple other coaches. Hackett doesn't do anything on his own at this point. 

There are plenty of reasons to fire Hackett, and while it seems unlikely to happen in the season, being swept by the Josh McDaniels-led Las Vegas Raiders does make it more likely to happen. If Hackett does get fired in season, who are the options to take over as interim? 

Let's dive into the candidates to divine which coach makes the most sense internally. 

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Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) talks with quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High.
Bill Kollar
Dom Capers

Pros

Capers has extensive head-coaching experience, though it came more than 15 years ago. He has the same kind of attitude as Kollar, which is what this team could use. Since he was let go as the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator, Capers has bounced around as a senior defensive assistant. 

The best aspect about making Capers the head coach is he can be hands-off on the offense and defense. He can let Evero run the defense, and Kubiak/Outten run the offense while he focuses on game management and cutting down on the lack of discipline penalties that plague this team. 

Cons

There are not any cons to making Capers the interim coach. He isn't going to be looked at as the full-time coach due to his age (72), so you don't have to worry about giving other teams a preview. There isn't a lack of experience, either. 

Bottom Line

Of all the options to make this list, Capers is the best candidate. His attitude and experience are a change from Hackett, with the attitude being what this young team needs. You don't have to look for significant change late in the season, but it would give more to the offensive and defensive coaches. 

It would allow the head coach to be the head coach and the other coaches to focus on their side of the ball. 


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