Early Thursday, as reports broke across the NFL landscape that the Denver Broncos had hired Nathaniel Hackett as head coach, the team posture, at least publicly, was circumspect.
Then, from the Broncos' Twitter account, a glorious GIF was sent out, all but confirming the Hackett-to-Denver news.
The GIF depicts the 'Did we just become best friends?' scene from the movie Stepbrothers, a clear signal that Hackett is indeed the Broncos' 18th head coach all-time. After all, it was Hackett who purportedly dropped a Stepbrothers reference when the Broncos requested to interview his fellow Green Bay coach Luke Getsy about 10 days ago.
On Thursday afternoon, Broncos GM George Paton issued a statement via a team press release confirming the Hackett hire. It was Broncos Country's first opportunity to hear why Hackett was hired above all the nine other interviewees Paton held palaver with.
“Nathaniel Hackett is a dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the very start of this process. In addition to having a brilliant offensive mind, Nathaniel is an outstanding teacher and communicator with a strong vision for all three phases of our team.
“Getting to know Nathaniel over the last couple weeks, he will bring positive energy and enthusiasm to the entire Denver Broncos organization as our head coach. Creating a winning and competitive environment for the players, coaches and staff—and doing it through personal connections and efficiency—is a big part of his plan for the Broncos.
“From developing younger players to working with all-time greats as a key part of winning teams, Nathaniel has had tremendous success in this league. He’s a student of the game and knows how to put players in positions to win.
“I could not be more excited to partner with Nathaniel and welcome him along with his family—his wife, Megan, and children Harrison, London, Briar and Everly—to the Denver Broncos.”
Indeed, gone is the stand-offish and gruff 61-year-old Vic Fangio and in is the 42-year-old bundle of energy in Hackett. Don't let Hackett's relative youth mislead you, though.
He is a 20-year coaching veteran, 13 of which comes in the NFL. Hackett has been a coordinator in eight of his past nine seasons as an NFL coach.
He spent the last three years as Green Bay's offensive coordinator where he coached Aaron Rodgers to arguably the best three-year stretch of the veteran quarterback's career. The Packers have been one of the NFL's most explosive and prolific offenses under Hackett's guidance.
Fans are dying to hear what Hackett's vision is for all three phases of the Broncos. Friday should end the suspense, at least in part, as Hackett will be introduced as the new head coach in a Dove Valley press conference at 3 pm MDT.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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