On Sunday, the Denver Broncos beat the Houston Texans, 16-9. It was a nerve-wracking collapse down a flight of stairs that surprisingly ended with Denver on it’s feet as time expired.
An ill-conceived 64-yard field goal attempt in week 1 set the stage for more coaching growing pains in week 2. A total inability to manage the play clock brought Broncos Country a new fandom first: The crowd in attendance took to shouting out the play clock to keep urgency on the Broncos mind. After burning all three timeouts due to coaching flubs with plenty of game left to play, I don’t blame them.
How do you field a punt return with no punt returner? How does that even begin to happen? What is happening on the Broncos sideline where player, coach, and teammates have so little awareness of what’s happening in the game that the most important player in that particular moment is anywhere but where he needs to be?
Last night, MHR’s Tim Lynch was livid in our postgame podcast (above) and funneled that rage into an article calling for Nathaniel Hackett to turn over his play-calling duties over to someone else so that he may focus on the basics of game management.
It’s too early to start tugging at the coach’s clipboard. I disagree with Tim’s assessment that some duties need to be outsourced, only because the Broncos are just now going into week 3. We all knew Hackett would be a first-time coach when he was hired. The game is coming at him faster now than it has ever before and, as much as it sucks to say it, Broncos Country needs to give him the space to find himself as head coach.
Next week, the Broncos host San Francisco on national television. It will be an epic display as to whether these repeated gaffes are just growing pains or if they’re a legitimate threat to metastasize into the same old organizational incompetence Broncos Country has enjoyed this last half-decade.
I think Hackett will get it figured out. He doesn’t need to be perfect on Sunday, just improved. Baby steps…. and they need to win.
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