BRONCOS

Evero speaks on why he turned down interim job, friendship with Hackett

Dec 29, 2022, 3:50 PM
Ejiro Evero...
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

When the Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett on Monday, many thought defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero would be the team’s interim head coach.

After all, Denver’s defense has been the team’s best unit by a mile this season. And it seems like Evero deserved the job. CEO Greg Penner and GM George Paton felt the same way, as the chance was reportedly offered to Evero.

However, he declined the opportunity, and Jerry Rosburg received the title instead. Rosburg spoke glowingly of Evero and explained what happened at his introductory press conference on Wednesday. On Thursday, Evero took the podium and was asked why he turned it down.

“I don’t want to get in to much of the details, but at the end of the day this is not a situation that any of us wanted to be in. We just all agreed that the best thing for this team moving forward was for me to continue to work with the defense. Fully invested there and I think that’s where I could have the best value for this team,” Evero said.

It makes sense, with Evero a candidate for the full-time head coaching job in Denver, as well as others around the NFL, the last thing he wanted to do was take over and watch the Broncos play two lousy games. If they look like they did in L.A. against the Rams, putting similar performances on tape against the Chiefs and Chargers wouldn’t help Evero’s stock.

However, just because Evero said no this time, doesn’t mean it’s not on his mind to become an NFL head coach one day.

“That’s always an ambition. I would say most coaches always strives to obtain that position. But I’m not worried about that right now. Right now, I’m fully invested in this team. We’ve got two more games. We’ve got a great opportunity this week against Kansas City and that’s where I’m completely focused at,” Evero said.

While he eventually went into coach-speak, the start of that answer is telling. Evero does want to be the man in charge at some point. And while it won’t be the next two weeks for the Broncos, that could also be because of Hackett. It’s widely known the two are good friends, maybe even best friends. Evero spoke glowingly of a man he probably didn’t want to replace right away.

“It’s been hard. First of all, he’s a great friend. He’s family. I hold him in high regard. More so, not even as a friend and family, he’s a helluva coach and I thought he did a great job here. There was a lot of adverse situations and things that didn’t work our way. At the end of the day, this is what we signed up for, and we have to live with these consequences when we have these types of results,” Evero said.

And live with the results the Broncos will. While three coaches have already been fired, more major changes are expected this offseason. We’ll see if that includes Evero in Denver’s plans, either as DC or with a promotion.

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