BRONCOS

Nathaniel Hackett asked directly if he’s coaching for his job on Sunday

Nov 14, 2022, 3:48 PM
Nathaniel Hackett...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Well, there it is.

With mounting pressure and speculation about the future of Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, he was asked directly at his press conference on Monday if he’s “coaching for his job” against the Raiders on Sunday.

And let’s give some credit where it’s due, because Hackett didn’t dodge the question, even if the answer had a few cliches in it.

“I learned a long time ago you’re coaching for your job every day. I mean, every single day you come in that building and you compete and you fight to be the best version of yourself and try to bring the best out of everybody around you. That’s just how this is, that’s how I’ve always known it is,” Hackett said.

At 3-6, the Broncos are in third place in the AFC West, only avoiding the basement because the hapless Raiders are 2-7. Las Vegas is led by former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels and some think the loser of the game on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High could be fired. McDaniels and the Raiders already beat the Broncos once this season, 32-23 back in Week 4.

In the same question, Hackett was also asked about how his family is handling the growing criticism around the team’s lackluster offense. Denver managed just 10 points in a brutal 17-10 loss to the Titans in Nashville.

“When it comes to the family, I love them. They know what we got into. This is part of it. I’ve been doing this my whole life. Since I was born, it’s been going on. Like I said, you’re always coaching for your life. To me, it’s not about me though. It has nothing to do with me. It has to do with this team, it has to do with these coaches (and) with all of us coming together and finding a way to win a football game on Sunday,” Hackett said.

Hackett discussing how he’s known this his whole life is an acknowledgement of his father, Paul Hackett. He coached in the NFL in stints from 1981-2010. Paul was previously a college coach before that, and Nathaniel was born in 1979.

It makes sense. This is a profession Hackett has seen up close since he was a little kid. He has to know it’s a brutal one, with brutal consequences for those who don’t win. And right now, he’s not doing much winning.

Is his job officially on the line Sunday? That remains to be seen. But kudos to Hackett for not sidestepping the tough question and elephant in the room.

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