On Tuesday, the Denver Broncos announced the hiring of three new coaches including assistant defensive backs coach Ola Adams, Derek Haithcock as assistant to the head coach, and instructional designer John Vieira. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett is bringing some innovative coaching philosophies to the Mile High City.
The interesting hire here is Vieira, who goes way back with Hackett to UC Davis. The Broncos created a new coaching role for Vieira, who held a similar role in Green Bay over the past two years, according to 9NEWS' Mike Klis.
What exactly does an 'instructional designer' do for a football team? Great question.
To sum it up, Vieira's job is to coach the coaches. He'll work with the Broncos' entire coaching staff to "enhance instructional methods in presentations to players", per the team press release.
Hackett is big on understanding that the modern crop of NFL players is part of a "YouTube generation" which in the head coach's estimation requires teams to take a new approach to teaching them. That's where Vieira comes into play.
Exactly how that'll play out is anyone's guess but at least Hackett and the Broncos are thinking outside the box. Hackett has hired a slew of young coaches who either have NFL experience in short supply or were plucked from the college ranks.
However, you know the old saying: if you continue to do what you've always done, you'll continue to get what you've always got.
What the Broncos have gotten over the past six years is a lot of losing despite hiring coaches who've followed NFL convention and norms. Thinking old school has availed this team not.
It's time for a new tack. Hackett's philosophy might seem risky from the outside looking in but he's an NFL veteran and he's spent time around some very successful coaches. Through osmosis, what he's gleaned over the years should encourage Broncos fans that these coaching hires aren't slapdash but rather, thought-out and methodical.
Keep in mind, Hackett hired Dom Capers as a special defensive assistant, a coach with 25 years of NFL experience. Capers's experience will balance out the first-time defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.
After all, the difference between knowledge and wisdom boils down to one thing only: experience. Capers brings that in spades.
As for the other two coaching hires announced on Tuesday, Adams will assist defensive backs coach Christian Parker — one of the few Vic Fangio holdovers Hackett opted to retain on his staff. Adams recently served as Temple's co-defensive coordinator and brings 18 years of coaching experience to the table.
Haithcock comes from the college recruiting realm of Cal-Berkeley. The Broncos say that he will "oversee day-to-day coaching operations while also working with all football staff and personnel."
Haithcock entered the NFL back in 2008 as an intern with the Oakland Raiders and stuck with the club for a decade. The very next year after he was hired, the Raiders promoted him to football operations assistant where he served until 2017 before spending one last year with the club as assistant to the head coach in 2018.
As you can see, Hackett's hires run the gamut from the college to NFL ranks. Perhaps he's testing the long-held maxim made famous by Indiana Jones: fortune favors the bold.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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