Broncos’ head coach Nathaniel Hackett has taken a bunch of heat this year, and rightfully so, but is he even the worst coach on the staff? Hackett was seen as the next coming of the young, offensive-minded coaches who was going to break out as a head coach in the NFL.
In year one, that has been far from the case. Nathaniel Hackett has been a disaster and is likely to be fired at the end of the season. A head coach in the NFL is responsible for the entire roster. The buck stops with them.
One of their most important jobs is to assemble their staff once they get that job. It could be the assistant coaches that make or break their tenure as the head coach. Hackett seemed to find an absolute gem in Ejiro Evero, the defensive coordinator.
Evero will be a head coach in the NFL one day, and the hope is that the Broncos can enjoy his services before he makes that leap, which could be as soon as the 2024 cycle. On special teams, Hackett brought over Dwayne Stukes, who has done a mostly terrible job.
However, the Broncos special teams unit has generally been below average, so I don’t think anything we’re seeing is out of the ordinary for the club.
The worst coach on the staff is likely on the offensive side of the ball. It isn’t the running back’s coach or wide receiver coach Zach Azzanni, but this honor has to go to offensive line coach Butch Barry, who not only should have been fired weeks ago but simply does not belong in the NFL as a position coach.
What he has overseen in Denver has been a complete and utter regression of the entire unit, which was serviceably average last year. Not a single lineman that was with the team in 2021 took a step forward in 2022.
In fact, many of them regressed quite a bit. Garett Bolles looked fine before he went down. Lloyd Cushenberry and Dalton Risner weren’t able to do much of note either. Graham Glasgow has been fine, I guess, but nothing that would indicate he has a future with the team.
Collectively though, the unit looks abysmal together and looks like they have no chemistry at all. It’s a bit shocking to see this unfold as well because many of these linemen have played together on the Broncos for multiple seasons.
The Broncos are tied with the Rams for the most sacks allowed in the 2022 season, with 51. There is simply no excuse for the unit being this bad. Sure, Russell Wilson usually brings down the level of play of his offensive lines because of the nature of his game, but this performance has been a collective failure and I’m not sure Wilson should take much of the blame for it.
The Denver Broncos have a stud lineman on their hands in second year player Quinn Meinerz. Meinerz is the best lineman on the team, by far.
The players up front are constantly missing their blocks and getting beaten badly. It’s not been good up front in 2022. In 2023, if nothing else, expect Butch Barry to be relieved of his duties and expect some new faces along the offensive line.