BRONCOS

What head coach in their right mind would want the Broncos job?

Dec 2, 2022, 6:44 AM
Russell Wilson...
(Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

Many at The Fan and throughout Broncos Country have suggested that the Broncos are in need of an established head coach who can lay down the law to Russell Wilson and the rest of the team. Sure, that sounds great from the Broncos point of view, adding someone who can hold Wilson accountable and bring an already existing winning culture. However, has anyone considered that any intelligent and established head coach wouldn’t want to touch this Broncos team with a 10-foot pole?

Whether it’s the lack of premium draft picks in the near future, being married to an aging and declining quarterback for the next 4-7 years, or not having the cap flexibility to bring in talent due to the contract for the aging and declining quarterback, anyway you crack it, this Broncos job is simply not appealing. A head coach is somewhat set up to fail.

Sean Payton’s name has been thrown around throughout Broncos Country as a potential replacement for Coach Hackett, should he be fired. Anyone who thinks Sean Payton would want this job over any of the other potential vacancies is as delusional as a Rockies fan who pre-orders World Series tickets. This isn’t your father’s Broncos that can just rely on the brand and history of excellence in the organization. Broncos Country needs to take a long look in the mirror and realize that no coach would have the Denver head coaching job at the top of their wish list.

The most-important factors for being a new successful head coach are as follows: Having his guy at QB, building a roster with his guys, managing expectations and being able to sell that they have a bright future.

Starting off with the quarterback situation, Denver is in a tough spot. Like many teams looking for a new head coach, the Broncos QB situation isn’t great. But make no mistake there is no question as to who the Broncos quarterback will be over the next few years – Russell Wilson. Not only is Wilson underperforming and on the decline, the now 34-year-old quarterback is stuck in his ways. Coaches like to mold their QBs to be “their guy.” Teams like Houston, Carolina, and Detroit will all likely have top-10 picks to use for their organization to get their guy. A young, ultra-talented guy that they hand-pick and get to mold, who also happens to be making a fraction of what Russell Wilson is guaranteed over the next few years.

Moving on to roster construction. George Paton has been able to recoup some draft capital following the Russell Wilson trade, but having just one pick in the top-64 selections won’t cut it to overhaul this roster. The one pick the Broncos do have in the first two rounds, comes from the 49ers via the Dolphins in the Bradley Chubb trade, which is looking more and more like a late first-round pick now. The Broncos need help all over the field and with only six draft picks for 2023, half of which are day-three picks. That is a tall task for anyone, but especially for Paton, who has been iffy at best in the later rounds of the draft.

Finishing up with expectations and selling a bright future. The expectations that come with the job here in Denver are night and day compared to a coach walking into most of the other coaching openings around the league. Whether it was Vic Fangio, who has been all over the league for decades, or a young “hotshot” offensive mind like Nathaniel Hackett, the expectations are the same – playoffs or bust. Broncos Country is starved for playoff football and rightfully so, but nothing less than making the playoffs would satisfy Colorado and create belief in the fanbase that the Broncos are moving in the right direction.

So go ahead and call for Nathaniel Hackett’s job and say he’s not the guy, but think twice about the quality of head coach that would be replacing him. The Broncos would most likely be bringing in the least touted option in the next coaching cycle. At this point maybe anyone would be better than Nathaniel Hackett or maybe the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

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What head coach in their right mind would want the Broncos job?