BRONCOS

As Ejiro Evero turns heads in NFL circles, Hackett doesn’t want to lose him

Nov 17, 2022, 12:16 PM | Updated: 3:18 pm

The NFL is noticing the one good thing about the Broncos this season.

Particularly, the person leading Denver’s No. 1 ranked scoring defense. That man is defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.

Some oddsmakers have mentioned Evero as a candidate to get the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job this offseason, should the Jeff Saturday experiment not work out. Now, he’s popping up on a list on the league’s official website.

NFL.com named Evero as a “young NFL coach to watch” on Thursday morning, mentioning the 41-year-old will be a candidate during the coming head-coaching cycle. At his press conference on Thursday, current Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett was asked about Evero and how tough it would be to lose him.

“I’ve known him over half my life. He’s a dear friend, somebody that I’ve believed in since we met each other. I brought him here because of how great of a person he is and then as a coach, just watching him over the years develop and become the man that he is. He’s done an incredible job here. It’s a credit to him and his entire staff and he deserves all that. The entire defense has been playing at a high level. I definitely don’t want to lose him though,” Hackett said.

This raises the obvious question and elephant in the room: Why don’t the Broncos just fire Hackett and promote Evero before another team poaches him? Denver’s giving up just 16.6 points per game, which is tops in the league. The offense (which Hackett is in charge of) is scoring just 14.6 points per contest, which is dead last in the NFL.

Even if ownership doesn’t want to trust Evero with the full-time role yet, it’d be easy enough to make him the interim head coach the final seven games and see if the team improves. If it goes well, great, you don’t have to look for a new guy this offseason. If it goes poorly, no worries, Denver can go a different direction.

It’s a possibility, and Hackett has to know that, but it didn’t stop him from glowing more about Evero.

“His work ethic, the way he works with his staff. His organization, everything. This has been his first year (as a coordinator). So, to see him excel at this level is fantastic to see,” Hackett said.

We’ll see how it all shakes out. But for now, an overwhelming majority of Broncos fans would rather have Evero stay employed by the Broncos for a long time instead of Hackett.

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