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Nathaniel Hackett Addresses Giving Up Play-Calling Duties

The Denver Broncos need to figure out a different method because this has been madness.

On the heels of an over-hyped Denver Broncos offseason, most observers were impressed by the high-energy, hands-on brand of coaching Nathaniel Hackett seemed to be delivering. Under the bright lights of the regular season, however, Hackett has lost much of that offseason luster. 

Explaining it away is only more problematic for the Broncos' first-year head coach, especially if Hackett's clock and game management issues continue in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Ironing out the kinks of an offense is more about perseverance than panic for Hackett, who insisted on Monday he would continue to call the plays for the Broncos' sputtering offense.

“I think I’ll continue the play calling. I think that’s been pretty efficient up to this point. We’ve done a good job moving the ball. We’ve had a good plan from that standpoint. We just have to finish those drives,” Hackett said. “I think from the game management standpoint, we just have to tighten that whole thing up. A lot of us—we are all working together for the first time, so we just want to be sure we’re more efficient in that and have the ability to make better decisions and quicker decisions.”

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Finding some sort of offensive rhythm starts with confidence on Coach Hackett’s part. That hasn't really materialized as yet, even though the head coach has a nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback in Russell Wilson under center. 

Hackett and Wilson seem to have developed a strong personal bond, but in order for that to bear fruit on a professional level, Hackett admitted they have to get these problems worked out.

“It’s about organization and communication. In those moments, it happens so fast,” Hackett said. “I think that the process of what we do—every single thing that we do is a process, up to getting to gameday and during gameday. Everything is process, process, process. We just need to tighten that process up so we can make better decisions faster.”

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Through two games, Hackett has indeed looked lost on the sidelines and particularly when those game-defining, quick-fire decisions are required. That disorganization and lack of poise stand in glaring contrast to his first-year defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who has looked every bit the decisive and confident leader.

Perhaps Evero's assuredness could provide a road map for Hackett to resolve some of his own teething issues. Dom Capers has provided Evero with some veteran coaching support and direction, so Hackett would be wise to find a similar experienced sounding board. 

The Capers influence has been proven in the pudding already. Evero’s defense currently ranks third in points allowed and total defense through the first two weeks of the season.

“Dom is amazing. [He’s] such a great man who has seen and done so much throughout his career,” Hackett said of the Capers/Evero dynamic. “It’s a great calming force in that room for everybody and understanding of the defense. I think it’s really helped those guys and his relationship with Ejiro has been unbelievable. Even prior to this, just their time together when they were at Green Bay up to now. It’s something very valuable to him.”


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