Broncos hire Packers' Hackett as new head coach
"Nathaniel Hackett is a dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation, and charisma impressed us from the very start of this process," general manager George Paton said.
The Broncos' hiring of Hackett is the first of nine head coaching vacancies set to be filled this cycle. Denver interviewed 11 candidates to replace Vic Fangio, with Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell reportedly being the other finalists.
Hackett was scheduled for his second interview with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday before the Broncos stepped in to get their man, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports.
Hackett's Green Bay offense produced the NFL's MVP in 2020 and leading candidate for MVP in 2021 - Aaron Rodgers. The 42-year-old also helped the unit finish first in scoring and fifth in yards last season before finishing 10th in both categories this year.
While he didn't call plays during his three seasons in Green Bay, Hackett did so during stints as the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.
Hackett's offense in Jacksonville finished fifth in scoring in 2017 en route to an AFC Championship Game appearance. He also guided Blake Bortles to his best season as a pro.
Hackett will be tasked with revitalizing a Broncos franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since Peyton Manning retired following the team's Super Bowl win in 2015.
Denver has started five quarterbacks in the six seasons since Manning's exit, and Hackett's top priority will be finding a long-term answer under center.
The Broncos were speculated as a potential trade destination for Rodgers last offseason amid a dramatic standoff between the Packers and their star quarterback.
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