Hackett combining previous offenses from both him and Wilson for Broncos
Day one is in the books.
The Denver Broncos held their first practice of voluntary veteran mini-camp on Monday at UCHealth Training Center and the big story was Russell Wilson finally taking the field in a Broncos uniform.
But it wasn’t just Wilson’s first official day on the job. New head coach Nathaniel Hackett was out there as well, taking control of the Broncos after the dreadful Vance Joseph and Vic Fangio eras.
The previous two head coaches were both “defensive” guys, so it was nice to see the Broncos hire an offensive guru this time around. In his post-practice press conference, Hackett was asked what Denver’s offense will look like in 2022. Specifically with Wilson coming from Seattle and Hackett making previous stops in Green Bay, Jacksonville and other spots around the NFL.
“I think we were real lucky, because watching Russ’s tape for years now it’s been a lot of the same stuff that I’ve done, both at Green Bay (and) at Jacksonville,” Hackett said. “So, we’ve just kind of combined everything, we want to make it a Denver Bronco offense. It’s not just a Seattle, a Green Bay or Jacksonville (offense).”
This makes sense, as both Wilson and Hackett have had a lot of success in the NFL. Wilson, of course, making nine Pro Bowls during his time with the Seahawks and Hackett leading Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers to some prolific offensive outputs the last three years.
Speaking of Rodgers, Hackett was also asked about coaching one elite QB in Rodgers and now moving on to a new one in Wilson.
“Very much the same from the challenge standpoint,” Hackett said. “Russ, he’s asking a lot of questions and stuff like that. It’s not really to compare either of those guys, they’re both great players. But it’s fun to be with Russ because he’s always on it, always wants to know the answer, always wants to know the why, always wants you to continually work with him. I really appreciate that about him.”
While that isn’t a shot at Rodgers, it’s a lot of praise for Wilson as constantly wanting to learn. It wouldn’t be shocking if Rodgers thought he had everything figured out and didn’t really need the coaching.
And that wasn’t all Hackett had to say about Wilson — the coach couldn’t help but heap praise on his new signal caller. He said Wilson had the Broncos ready to go from the jump on Monday and wanted to do even more.
“Russ leads that charge. This guy loves practice. Just out there at the end he’s like ‘wait we’re done? Can we do more?’ And you’re just like ‘man I would love to, but we’ve got to tone it down. Baby steps.’ But he’s awesome,” Hackett said.
It’s a new era in Broncos Country and even in late April the energy around the team just feels different. Obviously Hackett and Wilson are both huge parts of that, but now the work can really begin.
Seeing how the new offense develops will be fun — as forming a hybrid of what’s worked in the past for all parties involved will be a major key for success.