As much as we all monitor the Denver Broncos closely, it's hard not to keep an eye on former Broncos who are on other teams around the league. Especially when those players either spent considerable time with the team or had a memorable run with the team (for better or worse), you want to know how those players or coaches are doing.
Call it morbid curiosity, if you will.
And there are certainly some instances in which Broncos Country may be actively rooting against certain players or coaches. The 2023 season certainly brought a mixed bag when it comes to former Denver Broncos players and coaches, but there were a lot of notable names who didn't fare well in their new cities. Let's recap some of what we saw this year from old "friends".
1. Nathaniel Hackett, OC, Jets
The New York Jets hired Nathaniel Hackett on merit, or so they say, but the follow-up move to trade for Aaron Rodgers was a clear indicator of what the New York Jets had in mind all along. This was a package deal, presumably the package deal Broncos GM George Paton thought he was getting in the 2022 offseason in Denver.
That never materialized, and for the Jets, they also got Nathaniel Hackett without Aaron Rodgers, because Rodgers ended up missing the entire season due to injury.
And the results were horrendous, as you may expect. The Jets finished the season 29th in the NFL in scoring, 30th in points per drive, 31st in total yards, 30th in turnovers, 32nd in 1st downs, and 32nd in passing touchdowns. The Jets' offense -- without Rodgers calling the shots -- was an embarrassment.
Even though they got up for their game against the Denver Broncos in Week 5, the Jets had the worst 3rd down offense in the league in 2023, and the 32nd ranked red zone offense. There was no "gold zone" for Nathaniel Hackett's offense in Denver, and he didn't fare better in New York.
The Jets -- averaging 15.8 points per game -- were somehow worse than the 2022 Broncos, who averaged 16.9 points per game.