The 18th head coach of the Denver Broncos loves his job.
As, loves It. Every single part of it.
Not just the job of teaching football – no matter how much he likes it.
But he is also excited about even the slightest tasks of running exercises, figuring out how to adjust a offense when guys are out and other talent in, and using analytics to confirm his decisions.
And he’s even excited about doing press conferences.
Nathaniel Hackett may just be the last NFL coach who seems to actually like talking to reporters.
“I’m excited to meet every person here … just get to know each and every one of you, because that’s what he’s about,” he said at the end of his opening statement. “It’s about people. It’s about communication. It’s about talking to each other. It’s about us all coming together and making something special here and making Broncos Country really proud, because that’s what it’s about. We have to win a few games. “
It was the winner. That was the one phrase reporters and Broncos Country really wanted to hear.
But there was more.
So much more to excite even the most outspoken fans about what lies ahead.
Hackett practically ran to the podium and gave GM George Paton a bear hug after the introduction, leaning over to the microphone, “How are you all today?” as if he were a standup comedian starring on stage.
That Nathaniel Hackett press conference was something else, man.
He is going to bring a special level of energy to this building.
Game changer for the Broncos.
– Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) 28 January 2022
His energy is contagious, and he has every intention of bringing it to the practice field as well as to the match day.
“I like exercise. I absolutely love exercise. “There is no substitute for guys who go out and play football,” he said. “When it comes to that energy, you know music will be there and it will be the guys’ music. It’s about feeling that rhythm and having fun. And then there is the behavior of the coaches. If someone is making a big play, you want to be excited. It’s not just about going out to exercise. It’s about competing, playing football and having fun. ”
That would be a definite difference from the two previous regimes, but Hackett is not just about the “high energy”.
He’s also about winning, and he believes his background in coaching special teams, defense and offense will be an advantage in correcting the Broncos’ misery.
“I think it’s about understanding those complexities — understanding what a special team coach really goes through, understanding what a defensive coach goes through. “When it comes to complementary football, it’s about understanding what everyone is going through,” he said, “to understand that the offense, in my opinion, controls the pace of the game. It controls how aggressive you are, how you control the ball, whether you want to take shots, whether you want to run the ball … ”
And to do all three phases well in the end means to do what players do best.
It has become a cliché among football coaches, but if Hackett can do it, he may be the first in a long time in Denver to tell the truth.
“Whatever we can do to take advantage of the players – what they do best and to run the game as a team and win,” he said, noting that sometimes more defense, sometimes more attack is.
But he certainly considers “maneuverability” a key to an NFL offense.
“Any offense you have must be adjustable for whoever you have in your team. “It’s about finding out what your guys do best and being able to do it over and over again and to take advantage of their skills,” he said. “I think the starting point is out of zone. Outside zone on attack is what you want to do, and you want to base it on the play-pass. You want the defense to cover the entire field. You want to take shots in the field. ”
And although he saw himself as “Han Solo” when asked which character he would most like to compare his personality to, he pulled a Jedi Master move when he was in a vintage John-Elway-as-QB- reference worked.
“Let us all admit, this is what the people in the plots love — they love those bombs in the field. I remember how I looked [former Broncos QB] John Elway throws the ball down the field to [former Broncos WR Ed] McCaffrey over all those boots, ”he added. “It was incredible. This is really where this system developed and was created. You always look for it, and mix in that ‘West Coast’ principle of the fallback game. This is kind of a quick summary. So many nice things to talk about with the offense. ”
Broncos Press Conference Label 101:
Name John Elway’s deep bombs in the field during the day …
Well played, coach! https://t.co/NgzFzl5hqc
– Doctor of Words (en tights) (@docllv) 29 January 2022
Hackett has admitted that he, like his mentor for the past few years at Green Bay, plans to call plays while also managing the program as head coach.
“I’m so happy,” he said of watching first-time head coach Matt LaFleur juggle being a head soccer coach and naming plays. “I think it’s about budgeting your time — understanding what you need to get done so that you have the ability to be great on match day, because in the end, it’s the most important thing.”
Hackett grew up as the son of a soccer coach and spent his childhood in and out of soccer stadiums, locker rooms and practice fields. But even with a little old school football in his blood, Hackett is not afraid of analyzes.
In fact, he embraces it.
“Analysis — I think they are fantastic. Numbers are incredible, ”he said. “I think what they do, especially as an actor, is a good baseline. … If you look at match day, there are so many things that can help you make the best decision, because for anyone who is on that “field, every decision is very fast. I think the more you have the analytical data to help you make a better decision, it will help the whole team.”
Neither Hackett nor Paton would – or could – talk about the likelihood that Aaron Rodgers would be on his way to Denver to follow his former OC, but Hackett did point out how much Rodgers helped his coaching development.
“He was one of my biggest fans and I love him,” Hackett said. “To coach a man like that, the one thing I learned is that you better have an answer for every question, because he is going to ask every single question about every single thing you are going to do. I think it was something that was very valuable to me. … It just allowed me to understand how to communicate and talk to everyone and know that you always have an answer to ‘Why?’ must have. ”
What Denver does as a fullback is still a big question mark, but Hackett does have two criteria for what he considers to be the composition of a great fullback – intelligence and toughness. That’s probably why he likes John Elway so much. And why he literally asked John’s sweater at his printer.
Nathaniel Hackett: “John Elway, I really want your jesey please. I’m not kidding. “
– RK (@RyanKoenigsberg) 28 January 2022
“From that point on, it was one of the most difficult positions in all of football. [of toughness], ”He said, noting the ability to take the blows and get up again to continue leading the team. “Then intelligence is so important to be able to do the different things you would like to do on the attack.”
His philosophy for developing a quarterback will have something for everyone in Broncos Country, no matter what Broncos quarterback they support for 2022, whether it’s a QB out of the draft, continuing with Drew Lock and / or Teddy Bridgewater or even if it’s the dream of Rodgers to convey.
“You have to be sure that you protect [the quarterback] …. You do this with both protection with the attacking line and running the football. “I think this is kind of the best way to always make sure that they are successful and can have clean bags,” he said. “There are so many different things that can happen in one game for a quarterback, so I think it’s always working with them, always teaching them, and giving them a level of comfort so they can go out and play there. “And that ‘can’ can have t stop my mentality. ‘I always talk about it. That’s what you want that quarterback to have when he gets out there.”
Coaching seems to be in Hackett’s blood – something he realized one day after a neurobiology lab as a student at UC Davis, where he was also assistant linebacker coach.
“I just remember that I was in that lab, and it was very quiet and very serious, and I might have tried to play some practical jokes and I do not think many people liked the jokes – I thought it was really good jokes, “he said, adding that he then went to the training ground with” his brothers “and realized the power of team.” At that moment I was like ‘I really have to try this thing’. ”
Nearly 20 years later – after college coaching periods at Stanford and Syracuse plus professional coaching positions at Buffalo, Jacksonville and Green Bay – he “tried this thing” as head coach of the Denver Broncos.
“Let’s make no mistake — it’s just fun winning football matches. We have to win and that’s what we want to do. I’m so excited to be working with this organization [and] with these players, ”he said. “This is a young, hungry football team, and we have to get over the hump. We have to be excited about it and we all have to do it. ”