Hackett explains why he picked Klint Kubiak over OC Outten to call plays
The Broncos made a big change on Sunday morning, when it was reported head coach Nathaniel Hackett was giving up his play-calling duties.
That responsibility was handed over to passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak. Notably, it didn’t go to offensive coordinator Justin Outten. Some folks already wondered how valuable Outten is to this team, so the decision raised questions.
At his press conference on Tuesday, Hackett was asked specifically about why Kubiak and not Outten was picked for the job.
“I have full confidence in a lot of guys on our staff. With Klint, it was just more about his relationship, because he’s been with Russell (Wilson) in that room nonstop and he’s also called plays before. I think Justin can definitely call plays in this league and I wanted him to be right next to Russell because he’s got a good relationship with him too. And to be able to kind of talk him through all the pictures, I thought that was kind of the best chance we had,” Hackett said.
As Hackett mentioned, Kubiak has previous play-calling experience with the Minnesota Vikings. Our Andrew Mason pointed out that Kubiak has guided his offenses to 2.59 touchdowns per game. That’s over a half-touchdown a game better than Hackett’s games as a play-caller, including his work in Buffalo and Jacksonville (he didn’t call plays in Green Bay).
Meanwhile, Outten has never called plays. He was the tight ends coach with the Packers before Hackett brought him to Denver. The logic makes sense, as Kubiak was more qualified for the role.
In a follow up question, Hackett was asked if QB Russell Wilson liked the change. The Denver offense looked better on its first drive, scoring a touchdown. After that, it was more of the same, with the team kicking just three field goals the rest of the way. The Broncos lost the Raiders in overtime, 22-16.
“To this point, it seems like it went great. Every single thing that we’ve talked about, the discussions, the talks. I talked with Justin and Klint quite a bit. Russell, he’s so positive, it seemed like he was in a good place and that’s all we need. We want him to be in a good place so that we can go out there an execute,” Hackett said.
Wilson’s set to meet with the media on Wednesday, so it will be good to hear his perspective. The reality is, Hackett calling plays wasn’t working. It’s good the team made a change, but they’re still going to have to find a way to score more than the dreaded 16 points.