It seems hard to imagine calling for a first-year head coach to be fired after just six regular season games. But it also seems hard to imagine a more disappointing start for the now 2-4 Denver Broncos.
Watching social media react to each Denver loss has gotten exponentially worse with each one. After the 19-16 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers Monday night, a few former Broncos athletes shared their frustrated thoughts on social media regarding head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Former lineman Orlando Franklin is now a host on Denver sports radio’s 104.3 The Fan and was quick to react on Twitter Monday night following the team’s forth loss. “11 days and no improvement. The only thing left that can be tried is a new play caller,” he wrote. “#BroncosCountry you deserve better. And if he hasn’t lost the locker room yet [I am] sure he’s lost the majority after tonight,” he added.
Another former Denver offensive lineman, Tyler Polumbus, was equally concerned with the job Hackett has done so far. “Unbelievable. This is just unforgivable. How many games is Hackett going to lose because he won’t run the damn ball on 3rd/4th and short,” he tweeted Monday night after the Broncos failed to convert on a 3rd and 1 pass play.
Polumbus concluded the night by reminding fans that their team had extra days to prepare for the Chargers:”11 days between games and THAT’s all our Offense could come up with. What a shame. Wasting a beautiful defense this year. … This year is the most painful since the [Super Bowl] and that is saying a lot. Our HC has a Masters degree in bonehead decisions.”
Denver Leads the League in Penalties
While the 2-4 record overall is one large factor in the criticism of Hackett, there are several other concerns that many have shared, from decision making to penalties. Whether fair or not, much of the blame for Denver’s lack of discipline is falling on the man in charge. The Broncos have been flagged 54 times through six weeks for 486 yards, leading the NFL in both categories.
Does Hackett Have a Future With the Broncos?
With each passing week, finding the “give him a chance” crowd is getting more difficult. And while it is unlikely that Denver’s front office will make a move so early in the season, opinions at this point are leaning toward Hackett being a one-and-done coach.
Denver Post writer Mark Kiszla summarized his frustration, writing, “After wretched loss to Colts, I saw no future for Nathanial Hackett as coach of Broncos. Was I too hasty? Did you see anything in sad 19-16 loss to Chargers that should make me change my mind?”
Another opportunity for Hackett and the Broncos approaches quickly, but a date with the New York Jets will provide little comfort for the team’s supporters. The Jets enter the October 23 game at 4-2 and fresh off an eye-catching Week 6 victory against the Green Bay Packers. Sunday’s contest takes place at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium with a 2:05 p.m. Mountain time scheduled kickoff.