BRONCOS

The Broncos hire Nathaniel Hackett to be their next head coach

Jan 27, 2022, 5:57 AM

It used to be that coffee was for closers. Now, it’s tamales and margaritas.

That’s what George Paton and Nathaniel Hackett dined on after a nine-hour interview on Monday. The Broncos general manager and then-Packers offensive coordinator capped their day with dinner and drinks at a popular Mexican restaurant.

It must’ve sealed the deal. On Thursday, news broke that Paton had tabbed Hackett to replace Vic Fangio.

Hackett was the only finalist to get a second interview with the Broncos. Dan Quinn didn’t, as he was meeting with the Giants, Bears and other teams with vacancies. Kevin O’Connell didn’t either, as his Rams have been busy getting ready for the NFC Championship Game.

Contract terms haven’t been announced, but it’s believed Hackett is getting a four-year deal with the Broncos. That’s the same as Fangio.

Hackett has spent the past three seasons in Green Bay, helping to rejuvenate Aaron Rodgers. A year ago, the quarterback won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. This season, he’s expected to do it again.

Thus, there is speculation that Hackett will help bring Rodgers to the Mile High City. According to reports, however, that was not a factor in Hackett getting the job.

Prior to his stint in Green Bay as a part of Matt LaFleur’s staff, Hackett spent four years in Jacksonville, three as the Jaguars offensive coordinator. That followed three seasons in Buffalo, where he was the Bills offensive coordinator.

He’ll be tasked with revitalizing a Broncos offense that has sputtered in recent years. Three head coaches, five offensive coordinators and 10 starting quarterbacks have all netted the same, lackluster results since Peyton Manning retired. Hackett’s main assignment will be getting an offense that can’t muster 20 points a game on track.

The offensive-minded head coach will also be the point person when it comes to finding a QB. Maybe it’s Rodgers. Maybe it’s getting the most out of Drew Lock. Maybe it’s a rookie taken with the No. 9 overall pick. Or maybe it’s a veteran who finds his way to Denver. Whoever it is, it’ll be Hackett and his staff that need to finally solve that riddle for the Broncos.

Hackett becomes the 18th head coach in Broncos history. He follows Fangio, who went 19-30 during his three seasons in Denver.

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