Broncos agree to terms with Nathaniel Hackett to be new head coach

The Denver Broncos have selected Nathaniel Hackett as the 18th head coach in club history.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday morning that the Broncos are finalizing a deal with Hackett to make him their new head coach, per sources informed of the situation. The team later announced the hiring.

Hackett's hire is the first of nine head coach openings to be filled this offseason.

"Nathaniel Hackett is a dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the very start of this process," Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. "In addition to having a brilliant offensive mind, Nathaniel is an outstanding teacher and communicator with a strong vision for all three phases of our team.

"Getting to know Nathaniel over the last couple weeks, he will bring positive energy and enthusiasm to the entire Denver Broncos organization as our head coach. Creating a winning and competitive environment for the players, coaches and staff — and doing it through personal connections and efficiency — is a big part of his plan for the Broncos.

"From developing younger players to working with all-time greats as a key part of winning teams, Nathaniel has had tremendous success in this league. He's a student of the game and knows how to put players in positions to win.

"I could not be more excited to partner with Nathaniel and welcome him along with his family — his wife, Megan, and children Harrison, London, Briar and Everly — to the Denver Broncos."

The Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator was a hot candidate this cycle. Talks heated up with Denver on Wednesday night as Hackett planned to interview for the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching job Thursday. The Broncos made sure that interview didn't happen.

Hackett, 42, has spent the past three seasons as the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, helping Aaron Rodgers win what is expected to be back-to-back MVPs.

The Packers have the second-most offensive TDs (160) and the fewest giveaways (37) in the NFL since Hackett became the OC in 2019.

While Rodgers and Matt LaFleur received most of the credit outside the Packers facility for Green Bay's potent offense, both have raved about the job Hackett has done preparing the team each week.

Green Bay hopes to fill its now vacant OC role from within, with quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy the prime candidate to take over.

Denver, meanwhile, will now look to build a staff around Hackett. Los Angeles Rams pass game coordinator Ejiro Evero is considered a leading candidate for defensive coordinator, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported. The Broncos will also request to interview Green Bay's run game coordinator, Adam Stenavich, to be their new offensive coordinator, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added.

A former linebacker at UC Davis, Hackett spent his early career as a college assistant before leaping to the pros as an offensive quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Jon Gruden in 2006. After returning to college to be Syracuse's passing game coordinator and offensive coordinator, Hackett followed Doug Marrone to the Buffalo Bills as the OC.

Hackett spent two seasons as the Bills OC, then traveled to Jacksonville with Marrone first as QBs coach (2015-2016) and then got the coordinator job when Marrone was promoted to head coach (2016-2018).

As the OC, Hackett didn't call plays in Green Bay, but is considered innovative and energetic, and can relate to players, which will serve him well as a first-time head coach.

Hackett has been endorsed by Rodgers multiple times for head coaching jobs. The connection between the new coach and QB will launch a new round of Rodgers-to-Denver rumors. If the MVP QB decides to force his way out of Green Bay with a trade demand, the Broncos make a lot of sense as a landing spot. Denver has a playoff-caliber roster, with weapons galore on offense and a burgeoning secondary, outside needing a quarterback.

Under former coach Vic Fangio, the defense remained one of the best in the NFL, but the offense couldn't get off the ground due to inconsistent quarterback play. Hackett's task as the first coaching hire under general manager George Paton will be to inject life into that offense regardless of who the next quarterback might be.

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