The first domino has fallen in the 2022 head coaching hiring cycle. The Broncos have hired Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach, as first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Hackett, 42 has been the offensive coordinator in Green Bay since 2019. While he hasn’t handled play-calling duties during that time, he is credited to a large degree with the high level of play QB Aaron Rodgers has sustained well into his thirties, and the Packers’ three-straight 13-win seasons.
Prior to his time in Green Bay, he had established himself as one of the best young offensive minds in the league during stints in Buffalo and Jacksonville. He interviewed with the Jaguars once already, and had a second meeting scheduled for today. That sped up the hiring process for Broncos general manager George Paton, who “stepped in Wednesday night to get a deal done”, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Hackett will take on a HC role for the first time in his career, both at the college and NFL levels. Meanwhile, he marks the fourth coach hired by Denver since 2016, a stretch that includes five consecutive losing seasons. The offense-based background for Hackett represents a departure from that of the recently-fired Vic Fangio, as well as Dan Quinn, the Cowboys’ DC who has been the hottest name in this year’s hiring cycle and was a finalist for this job.
For the Packers, QB coach Luke Getsy, who also interviewed in Denver, is the favorite to take over as their OC. Meanwhile, this news strengthens the case for Byron Leftwich to get the Jacksonville gig.
Here’s how Denver’s HC search ended up looking:
- Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator (Chiefs): Interviewed 1/21
- Brian Callahan, offensive coordinator (Bengals): Interviewed 1/20
- Jonathan Gannon, defensive coordinator (Eagles): Interviewed 1/19
- Luke Getsy, quarterbacks coach (Packers): Interviewed 1/14
- Aaron Glenn, defensive coordinator (Lions): Interviewed 1/13
- Nathaniel Hackett, offensive coordinator (Packers): Hired
- Jerod Mayo, linebackers coach (Patriots): Interviewed 1/19
- Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Cowboys): Interviewed 1/18
- Kevin O’Connell, offensive coordinator (Rams): Finalist
- Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator (Cowboys): Finalist
Be sure to check in on our Head Coach Search Tracker for all the latest updates as more vacancies begin to be filled.