Early in the morning of Thursday, January 27, the Denver Broncos made the decision to hire Nathaniel Hackett as their next head coach. This came 18 days after the Broncos announced the firing of Vic Fangio.
It marks the beginning of a new era for the Broncos, but more work is still to be done. With the hiring of Hackett, the belief that Aaron Rodgers could be the next quarterback will grow substantially.
However, before the Broncos even get to that stage, they have to finish hiring the staff under Hackett. That means potentially all new coordinators as well as position coaches. Whoever ends up hired will be the voice of Hackett, and not someone pushed on the first-time head coach by the front office staff.
It's hard to gauge Green Bay Packers QBs coach Luke Getsy because Rodgers was already a star when he showed up, and the jury is still out on Jordan Love.
Who are the top candidates to fill out the coordinator positions under Hackett? Let's dive in.
OC: Adam Stenavich | Run Game Coordinator/O-Line Coach | Green Bay
Stenavich is a riser in Green Bay's coaching ranks. Not only is there reported interest from the Broncos to interview him for offensive coordinator, but it is also believed he is the internal frontrunner to replace Hackett for that role in Green Bay. Stenavich is rising through the ranks in the NFL, which could make him a head coach candidate sooner rather than later.
Stenavich has coached up some strong offensive lines since being hired by the Packers in 2019. Green Bay lost two stars this past season, including left tackle David Bakhtiari, and still put together solid play. The unit ranked eighth in pass-blocking efficiency, allowing the eighth-lowest QB pressures (158) on 678 passing snaps per Pro Football Focus.
The interest in Stenavich would suggest the Broncos plan to transition to an outside zone/West Coast offense, much like the system the Packers are running under Matt LaFleur. That is the system Hackett has had roots in throughout his career and he loves the explosiveness of the offense.
While Stenavich wouldn't be just an offensive line coach, it could help with the personnel Denver has on hand, and he would likely provide some help to whoever ends up coaching the offensive line.
OC: Luke Getsy | Passing Game Coordinator/QBs Coach | Green Bay
If the Broncos are interested in Getsy to be their offensive coordinator, they've already interviewed him to establish a bead on him. When it was announced the Broncos wanted to interview Getsy for their head-coaching opening, it didn't take long for speculation to start that he would also be viewed for an offensive coordinator position if Hackett got the job. We'll soon know whether there was a kernel of truth to that speculation.
There is a rumor that Getsy would be the one to maximize attracting Rodgers, even more so than Hackett, but the three-time MVP is close to both coaches. It's also rumored that, while Getsy is a candidate to replace Hackett in Green Bay, he isn't the favorite. Adding Getsy could be a sure-fire way to significantly boost how enticing the Broncos would be for Rodgers.
It's hard to gauge Getsy as Rodgers was already a star when he became the position coach, and Love hasn't come along, though his sample size is small. How much of that is on the coaching staff, and how much is on Love?
Getsy worked as a quality control coach and then a wide receivers coach for the Packers and spent the time coming up through the ranks and did so quickly.
DC: Ejiro Evero | Passing Game Coordinator/Secondary Coach | Los Angeles Rams
Evero is an interesting candidate who has spent a lot of time under Vic Fangio in San Francisco, under Wade Phillips with the Los Angeles Rams, and Brandon Staley. Evero has been exposed to two of the better defensive schemes over the last five years, with most of it coming in the same system the Broncos have been running the last three years. It will be interesting to see if Evero runs that system or prefers something else.
There is a connection between Hackett and Evero. They played together at UC Davis, remained best friends per numerous reports, and even share the same agent. So often in the NFL, it is about who you know more than what you've accomplished, but Evero still has a good resume for the job.
Evero was one of the finalists for the Packers defensive coordinator job a year ago. He is an intelligent up-and-coming defensive mind who could be getting head coaching interviews within a few years.
Evero's time with the Rams has been successful, and he is ready for the next step and could be an excellent hire for the Broncos and may not bring about massive changes to the defensive scheme.
DC: Christian Parker | Secondary Coach | Denver Broncos
There were rave reviews about Parker and his work with the Broncos secondary all season long. He was tasked with developing Patrick Surtain II and getting the secondary coached up. Parker is loved by the players, coaches, and other staff around him.
'C.P.' doesn't quite have the resume that Evero has, with only three years of NFL coaching experience. The first two years came with Green Bay as part of the same staff Hackett was just hired from. There is no doubt that Parker would be a long shot for the job, but if the comments about him are to be believed, he is ready for it.
The career path of Parker seems to be following a similar path as the aforementioned Staley, who was a coach in the NFL for three years before his first defensive coordinator job. When a coach is as bright as Parker is said to be, you sometimes look past the inexperience and take a risk. The concern here would be giving a first-year offensive-minded head coach a rookie defensive coordinator.
DC: Jarod Mayo | LBs Coach | New England Patriots
Much like Getsy, Mayo was one of Denver's head-coaching interviews that many were shrugging off as a potential defensive coordinator hire down the road. As far as I am aware, at the time of writing this, there is no connection between Hackett and Mayo, making this a long shot. However, Mayo is very respected and was said to be impressive in his interview, so Denver could look at giving him a promotion to defensive coordinator.
Of course, there is concern about the success, or lack thereof, from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. That was a concern with Mayo's head-coaching candidacy and would remain one with a potential defensive coordinator hire. However, sometimes with intelligent up-and-coming coaches, you have to take a risk to see whether they can hack it or not.
Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
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