Report: Nathaniel Hackett gives up play-calling in last-second decision

Nov 20, 2022, 4:23 AM
Nathaniel Hackett...
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The NFL’s worst-scoring offense this season may be getting a spark on Sunday as head coach Nathaniel Hackett ditches the offensive play-calling duties.

An early Sunday morning report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero detailed that Hackett announced his decision to give play-calling duties over to quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak at a team meeting on Saturday night. Per Pelissero, Kubiak radioed in plays this week during practice, but Hackett kept hush until the night before the game, where he gave a speech about doing whatever it takes to win.

Hackett is in his first season as head coach of the Denver Broncos, leading them to a lousy 14.6 points per game and a 3-6 record. Hackett was a longtime offensive assistant in college and the NFL, last serving as the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers in 2021.

Hackett said earlier this week that the Broncos did not have a good offensive identity.

Kubiak, 35, was picked over first-year offensive coordinator Justin Outten. The son of former Broncos Super Bowl-winning head coach Gary Kubiak, the young called plays as the offensive coordinator for the high-scoring Vikings offense of 2021. Kubiak also sits up in the booth rather than stand down on the field like Hackett, which could lead to him seeing some new things.

Kubiak will be the new voice in the ear of the quarter-billion-dollar Russell Wilson, who has struggled since his blockbuster trade from the Seattle Seahawks.

Between the high-paid quarterback, the change in ownership, and the expectation of greatness, it’s widely believed Hackett is on the hot seat, and this could be a last-ditch attempt to give him some more breathing room.

All this comes a night before a rivalry game against the lowly Raiders, who have beaten the Broncos five times in a row—including Denver’s lone non-one-score loss this season.



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