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Broncos HC Explains How New Game Management Coach Fared in Week 3

The Denver Broncos had to make a coaching change and Jerry Rosburg paid early dividends.

Last week, embattled Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett addressed the elephant in the room, hiring long-tenured game management expert Jerry Rosburg as an assistant. Rosburg's brief? To help assist Hackett in making better in-game decisions in real-time.

Based on Rosburg's first game working with Hackett, the still-new hire had an immediate positive effect. Vanquishing a well-constructed San Francisco 49ers outfit showed that the more decisive adjudication displayed throughout is attainable for Hackett. The Broncos' narrow 11-10 win provided a workable blueprint.

Considering that Rosburg had to be fast-tracked for a crucial primetime game, it went about as smoothly as they could have possibly imagined. The actual proof in the pudding will doubtless come further on down the road, but for now, some of the growing pressure on Hackett has been alleviated. 

On Monday, Hackett pointed to the positives of having the veteran coach Rosburg piped into his headset on Sunday Night Football.

“I thought everybody, the whole staff, everybody I thought worked so well together. We knew that we had some things, especially myself, that I had to address,” Hackett said. “Then being able to get Jerry in there and work with the people that we have. We had a nice group of topics, they were giving the information quickly, and efficiently to me. Which made me make a quick decision instead of being emotional for something that might have happened that I was frustrated with or excited about it.”

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By actually removing the emotional elements, Coach Hackett managed to iron out obvious wrinkles on the fly. Consequently, on Sunday night, the Broncos head coach looked a lot more focused and comfortable patrolling the sidelines in general.

Hackett has learned the hard way that the affable coaching style he displayed in training camp needs to be toned down for real games. Getting into the flow of the action is much more based on making rational decisions under intense pressure, which is not easy, especially if the heart is beating way too fast.

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All told, the 42-year-old is still riding the roller coaster, just like any rookie does when he hits the big time. Juggling an all-consuming job and commitments at home is also being thrown unceremoniously into Hackett's lap. 

Hackett is aware he has to somehow control the temperature, especially if he going to positively impact the Broncos on a grander scale.

“Nobody ever told me this was going to be easy. Taking this job, you knew there were going to be some ups and downs,” Hackett conceded. “It’s going to be a roller coaster. I think that’s something that I’ve embraced. For me, it’s just about continually improving every day at whatever it is. As a person, as a coach, father, husband, you name it, I always want to get better and everything that I do. There is always going to be scrutiny.”

Hackett is experiencing his first, but perhaps most pivotal, light-bulb moment as a brand new head coach. By simply delegating some of the heavy lifting should make Hackett a better coach in the long run.

As for the short term, it also allows Hackett to refocus on mastering the art of winning, and that's all that really matters right now with the Broncos sitting at 2-1 and in first place in the AFC West. 


Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.

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