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Hiring Hackett ranked as one of the worst decisions in NFL history

By meerna Jun18,2024
Hiring Hackett ranked as one of the worst decisions in NFL history

Nathaniel Hackett was a disaster as the Broncos head coach. He lasted just 15 games, getting sent packing after a 51-14 loss at the Rams on Christmas Day dropped Denver’s record to 4-11.

The team was a mess, in almost every possible way. And that debacle was the last straw, with things appearing out of control as shoving matches were occurring on the sidelines, postgame handshakes were turning into fisticuffs and players were rolling their eyes at the quarterback.

Given all of the losing that’s taken place in the Mile High City since the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, however, it’s sometimes hard to remember just how bad Hackett’s tenure was. It sort of blends together with the two years under Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio’s three-year stint and even parts of Sean Payton’s inaugural campaign.

But for those outside of the Mile High City, the misstep is remembered well. In fact, it’s taken it’s place in history as one of the worst decisions ever made by an NFL team.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network explains Hackett’s place on the list:

β€œNathaniel Hackett’s errors with the Denver Broncos began in Week 1 and didn’t end until he was fired in December after posting a 4-11 record.

Hackett committed one of the more egregious game management mistakes in recent memory on opening night of the 2022 season, intentionally winding the clock before allowing kicker Brandon McManus to attempt what would’ve been a game-winning, 64-yard field goal. Denver hired Jerry Rosburg, a 66-year former special teams coordinator, in Week 3 to assist Hackett after he continued to make clock management mistakes.

Meanwhile, the Broncos’ offense scored fewer points than any team in the league. Quarterback Russell Wilson, whom Denver had acquired and extended that offseason, posted the worst season of his career. Hackett ceded play-calling duties to QB coach Klint Kubiak by Week 11.

Hackett’s tenure in Denver was so catastrophic that his successor, Sean Payton, went outside typical NFL protocol and openly denied Hackett’s decision-making with the Broncos. Payton eventually apologized, but nothing he’d said was inaccurate.”

Oh, the memories. 46, left hash. The crowd counting down the play clock. Losing to a hapless Colts team on national TV. It was something different every week, or so it seemed.

Only Urban Meyer was a worse hire than Hackett. In the history of the NFL, which dates back more than 100 years. That’s a bold statement, but it’s hard to argue.

By meerna

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