All is well in Broncos Country once again. Gone are the days of wandering the proverbial wasteland in search for a franchise quarterback. General manager George Paton traded for nine-time Pro Bowl and Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson, in addition to hiring a new coaching staff led by Nathaniel Hackett.
Hackett has been hands on with his players and staff that includes rookie offensive, defensive, and special teams coordinators. The 42-year-old appears to encourage a work hard and have fun approach to his practices where players can once again listen to music, unlike under predecessor Vic Fangio.
“The Broncos have been searching for a long-term answer at quarterback since Peyton Manning’s retirement following Super Bowl 50 in 2016. That’s one of the reasons why Hackett was hired,” NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks wrote Friday, ranking Hackett among his list of the league's top-10 HCs.
“He’s a well-respected quarterback whisperer who has proven he can help field generals thrive in the pocket (SEE: his work with Blake Bortles in Jacksonville). And then, less than two months after Hackett's hiring, Denver acquired an established superstar in Russell Wilson, who could be the final piece that allows this loaded Broncos roster to finally reach its potential.”
Hackett came to Denver from Green Bay where he sculpted the Packers offense in tandem with reining MVP Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay HC Matt LaFleur. He’s the son of legendary college and NFL head coach Paul Hackett and grew up around football, working up from the college ranks to several professional coordinator and QB coach positions.
Ultimately, however, Brooks is concerned with the instant expectation from Broncos Country for a high-scoring offense, chalk full of perfection, coming out the gates.
"It might take some time for the offense to click as the coach and quarterback develop chemistry, but the talented playmaker has a knack for making any play call the correct one due to his spectacular improvisational skills,” Brooks explained. “If the defense makes a smooth transition from Vic Fangio to new coordinator Ejiro Evero without regressing as a unit, Denver has the potential to make a worst-to- first leap in the AFC West standings.”