BRONCOS

Nathaniel Hackett gets help for Broncos’ game-management issues

Sep 24, 2022, 1:56 PM | Updated: 3:11 pm
Nathaniel Hackett...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The first step is admitting you need help.

The second step is doing something about it.

To Nathaniel Hackett’s credit, he did both after a fortnight strangled with game-management issues. This week, he hired former Ravens assistant head coach and special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg out of retirement to help with game-management issues.

Rosburg spent 11 seasons working under John Harbaugh as Baltimore’s special-teams coordinator before retiring in the 2019 offseason. Hs NFL experience also includes six seasons with the Browns and a year with the Falcons, all handing special teams.

In Baltimore, Rosburg’s units were perennially effective. The Ravens usually finished in the upper tier of Rick Gosselin’s annual special-teams rankings, including top-5 spots in Rosburg’s final four seasons before retiring.

While the Broncos are 1-1, their game management has been filled with foulups. They mismanaged a potential game-winning drive and decision-making process at the end of their Week 1 loss to Seattle. That led them to settle for a 64-yard field-goal attempt.

The Broncos followed that with a mistake-strewn win over the Texans in Week 2. During that game, the Broncos committed three false-start penalties and two delay-of-game infractions. They also had to burn a timeout after a third-down stop after the defense celebrated and led to sideline confusion.

Through two weeks, the Broncos lead the league in pre-snap penalties with 10. It got so bad in Week 2 that Broncos fans counted down the seconds on the play clock prior to a series of fourth-quarter snaps.

Hackett said earlier this week that he discussed game-management woes and how to improve them with general manager George Paton and assistant GM Darren Mougey.

“That’s something that we really jumped into and wanted to make sure that we can get better at that. That starts with me, and I’m doing every single thing I can to try to put myself in a position to be able to make quicker, faster [and] more efficient decisions,” Hackett said Wednesday. “George, [Mougey], all those guys have been absolutely spectacular in helping me through that process because that is something that is new for me.

“I think we’re going to have some good answers as we move forward.”

The answer likely lies with Rosburg.

***

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