The Denver Broncos will hire Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach, according to a report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Hackett, 42, began coaching in the college ranks in 2003 before getting his first job in the NFL in 2006. He had a brief stint at Syracuse from 2010-2012 and has otherwise coached at the pro level for 12 of the last 15 years.
Hackett served as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive coordinator from 2016-2018, helping the Jags reach the AFC championship game in 2017. He joined the Green Bay Packers as offensive coordinator in 2019, helping quarterback Aaron Rodgers win league MVP honors last year (Rodgers is also expected to win the award again this season).
Hackett will be replacing Vic Fangio, who was fired following the 2021 season after posting a 19-30 win-loss record in three years. Fangio will undoubtedly land on his feet as a defensive coordinator elsewhere in the NFL.
“We know we’re going to get the best candidate on the market,” Broncos general manager George Paton said of the team’s head coach search during his end-of-season press conference earlier this month. “We’re really confident of that.”
It appears that Hackett was, in Denver’s mind, the top choice among the 10 candidates interviewed.
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell were also finalists for the Broncos’ opening.
Hackett’s first order of business will be to build his coaching staff. Some of Fangio’s coaches — such as Ed Donatell and Tom McMahon — have already drawn interest from other teams. Hackett will have to decide quickly which coaches he will keep and which positions he will fill via outside hires.
After Denver’s coaching staff has been finalized, all attention will turn toward the team’s quarterback situation. Even before hiring Hackett, the Broncos were already expected to show interest in Rodgers if the quarterback becomes available via trade this offseason.
Now, after hiring Hackett, the Rodgers-to-Denver speculation will only increase. Buckle up, Broncos fans. The next few months will be interesting.