Broncos introduce Nathaniel Hackett as new head coach
DENVER (KKTV) - With a grin that stretched across the room at Broncos HQ, Nathaniel Hackett gave General George Paton a hug and approached the lectern Friday.
The first thing he told Broncos Country? How Jan. 28, 2022 felt like a dream.
“I’ve got to keep my composure about me because this is truly unbelievable. To say that I’m excited would be a massive understatement.”
Hackett, in front of friends and family, was introduced at the 18th head coach in Denver Broncos history Friday at UCHealth Training Center. He succeeds Vic Fangio, a tenure book-ended with unflinching demeanor and flat responses at the mic. The 42-year-old Hackett, from the get-go, intends on bringing a very different, more energetic, personality.
“I’m excited to meet every one of you guys all around—every person here,” Hackett said. “Every man and woman, and just get to know every one of you guys because that’s what this is about. It’s about people. It’s about communication. It’s about talking with one another. It’s about all of us coming together and making something special here and really making Broncos Country proud because that’s what it’s all about. We’ve got to win some games.”
Hackett’s energy, he expects, will be contagious. The Broncos are coming off a 7-10 record, their fifth straight losing season and sixth year missing the playoffs. He stressed creating an enjoyable environment in Denver, one Hackett expects won’t be difficult with the passion his sees already on the roster.
“I want to create this environment where people want to come in this building and work and have fun doing it. Let’s make no mistake—it’s only fun when you win football games. We’ve got to win and that’s what we want to do. I’m so excited to work with this organization, with these players, meeting with each one of them and getting to know them. This is a young, hungry football team, and we’ve got to get over the hump. We’ve got to be excited about it and we all have to do this.”
Paton said Hackett’s entire body of work -- helping Jacksonville to the AFC Championship game in 2018, as well as three 13-win seasons as offensive coordinator of Green Bay -- contributed to his hiring. Paton also lauded Hackett’s leadership, innovation, and intelligence during the interview process.
“When you talk to him about his vision about our football team, about our offense, about our defense, about our special teams...we could’ve sat there for five hours,” Paton said about interviewing Hackett. “He really blew us away in that initial interview and it just carried on. You can sit in a room with him and talk football for hours. I have no doubt about his football acumen, and I think he has a brilliant football mind.”
Both Hackett and Paton dodged questions of luring Aaron Rodgers, current Packers quarterback, to Denver. Hackett also said he will be calling the Broncos offensive plays on the sideline.
Paton’s coaching search ends after 19 days, interviewing 10 candidates. Above all else, Paton wanted to rely to Broncos Country that, in his eyes, they got the man for the future.
This was a really good group of candidates that we interviewed,” Paton said. “I spent a lot of time with him, and I knew how I felt. I talked to the staff, I talked to the leadership, and it was like what are we doing. This is the guy for the Denver Broncos, so we pulled the cord. We made the decision and couldn’t be more excited.”
After four head coaches in eight seasons, that’s music to Colorado’s ears.
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