2. Hiring Nathaniel Hackett
Safe to say that this was a huge mistake by George Paton. Nathaniel Hackett seemed to with the Broncos over with whatever he was presenting during the interview process. As I stated earlier in the article, it's not like Denver made some sort of unprecedented move when they made this hire.
Hackett was the OC for a back-to-back MVP winner in Aaron Rodgers. Hackett was also a young, offensive coach that fit the mold of what many NFL teams are now doing. And after Denver went through two straight defensive coaches in Vance Joseph and Vic Fangio, Hackett was a breath of fresh air.
Well, it seems that Hackett is a better person than he is a football coach, and that is a huge issue. It's clear that he was in way over his head. He built a poor staff, primarily of very inexperienced coaches, let quality, veteran coaches walk out the door, and was not able to establish a clear offensive identity.
Virtually nothing went right for Hackett besides hiring Ejiro Evero as the defensive coordinator. Evero is likely going to be a head coach in the NFL as soon as next year, and it's clear that he is very good at what he does. Hackett was one of only a few head coaches in NFL history to get fired before the end of his first season.
The nail in the coffin was the embarrassing Christmas Day performance from Denver. That was also when Dalton Risner, who is still a free agent, shoved Brett Rypien on the sidelines. Nathaniel Hackett did not have a grip on his team and was a bad hire.
He may get another shot as being a HC in the NFL someday, as many tend to do better their second time around, but man, what a crapshoot the 2022 Denver Broncos were.