NFL Insider Floats Possible Replacement for Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett

Nathaniel Hackett

Getty Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

The Denver Broncos have turned into the most disappointing team in the NFL. Denver’s offense, which is averaging an NFL-worst 14.6 points per game, is the worst statistical offense in team history through the first nine games of the season.

If it gets any worse, conversations about head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s future with the team will heat up, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

“Over the coming weeks, if Denver doesn’t start winning, you’ll hear rumblings about Hackett’s job security, for sure, and particularly if they can’t get past the Raiders and Panthers over the next two weeks,” Breer wrote in his November 14 piece. “It’s possible Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn gets linked to the job again (perhaps with fellow Cowboys assistant and former Seahawks lieutenant Brian Schottenheimer as OC), given his relationship with GM George Paton and experience with [quarterback Russell] Wilson.”

When Paton hired Hackett, people around the team facility perceived Hackett to be an offensive genius, but the offense has sputtered and Wilson is having the worst season of his career. He has completed just 57.4% of his passes and has a career-low quarterback rating of 33 (last season’s 54.7 had been his career worst). Even if this year’s Broncos matched last season’s 19.7 points per game, they would own a winning record.

The defense has faltered, too. The Broncos have also seen a double-digit lead this season disappear twice and turn into losses, according to 104.3 The Fan’s Andrew Mason.

 


Other Potential Candidates to Replace Hackett

Other than Quinn, there are some potential candidates out there who could replace Hackett if he gets the ax.

Sean Payton: The rumors have been floated out there that the former Super Bowl-winning head coach is ready to return to the NFL after stepping away for one year.

If Payton wants to return to the sideline, he’ll have his choice of teams to pick from. However, he told The Athletic for a story published November 7, that he would want to avoid “a lot of the dysfunctional teams in our league.” Payton did find success working with a quarterback, Drew Brees, who is only 1 inch taller than the 5-foot-11 Wilson.

Payton is under contract with the New Orleans Saints through 2024, so the Broncos would have to compensate the Saints.

Kellen Moore: The stock has been rising and continues to rise for Moore. In recent years, Moore has interviewed for multiple jobs, but just hasn’t landed one yet.

Last season, the Broncos interviewed with Moore in the offseason before they made their decision to go with Hackett. Moore, 34, has served as the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator since 2018. During that span, Moore has helped elevate Dak Prescott’s game and even this year, Moore helped Cooper Rush quarterback the Dallas offense to a 4-1 record when Prescott was injured.

If the Broncos want a potential rising star, Moore could be a solid option.

Brian Callahan: In the offseason, Callahan, who was a Broncos offensive assistant and quality control coach from 2010 to 2015, also interviewed with Denver, but he eventually remained with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Callahan, 38, has been on Zac Taylor’s coaching staff since 2019 as offensive coordinator. Learning the West Coast offense under Gary Kubiak in 2015 and being part of it again with the Bengals, Callahan has helped the development of quarterback Joe Burrow.

If the Broncos want to continue to run the West Coast offense for Wilson, Callahan could be a fit to improve the Denver offense in the future.


Broncos’ Injury Updates After Week 10

With the Broncos one of the most injured teams in the NFL, according to Man Games Lost NFL, they continued to add more players to the injury list after their November 13 game against the Titans.

On Denver’s first offensive play of the game, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy went down with an ankle injury and did return, but Hackett did tell reporters that he is day to day.

Center Graham Glasgow also exited Sunday’s game during the third quarter with a shoulder injury. “Glasgow dodged a bullet there; we’re hoping [he’s] day to day,” Hackett said.

Right tackle Billy Turner also suffered a knee injury and left the game, but will miss some time as he’s week to week. Denver will also lose their starting nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams for some time as well.

 

Denver (3-6) will host the Las Vegas Raiders (2-7) on November 20. The Broncos fell to the Raiders 32-23 on October 2.

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