Memo to Nathaniel Hackett: Dude, WTF? Sincerely, Broncos Country
I am not one to criticize someone who does a job I'm not qualified to do. For example, I can't comment on how a plumber fixes my toilet. He or she are trained in that job and have experience doing what they're doing, and because I don't know how, I hire them to do it for me.
But I am qualified to judge their work when they're done and the toilet doesn't flush.
Likewise, I do not possess the same experience or natural coaching ability Denver Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett has used to make some of the decisions he's made so far in this young 2022 football season.
But yet again, I am qualified to judge his work when, uh, the toilet doesn't flush. If you know what I mean. Also, even though I'm just a simple fan who's been playing Madden Football for I don't know, 30 years now, I do know how to manage a game clock. Same with the other millions of fans who watch this game.
And so, Coach Hackett, let me be blunt. Right now you feel like that girl I met back in the summer of maybe 2005 or 2006, who acted all into me at the bar and said all the right things, making me truly optimistic about some kind of future... only to turn out to be an absolute nut job who said and did the most head scratching and terrifying things when I got to know her better. I started to see the signs, but didn't bail out quick enough. Know what I mean? With you, we're starting to see some disturbing signs.
I want to still believe this is going to work out between us - meaning you and "we" - as in "Broncos Country." But I don't know, amigo.
We were SO excited when you got here and starting dropping F-bombs during practice, quoting Star Wars and high fiving everyone with a passion we haven't seen in a long, long time from a Head Coach.
But now, how many Delay of Game penalties will it take before you get booed clean out of Mile High? When the home crowd starts openly screaming out the countdown of the play clock on each play, you know you've established a pretty bad pattern. Were we booing Russ? Maybe he deserves a bit of it, but we all know who's talking in his ear. For your sake, like I tell my four year old sometimes... hey, get there faster, spit it out. And she doesn't even have a huge LED clock in front of her.
And PS, maybe Russell and the rest of your offense could have used some more reps in Training Camp and Pre-Season, huh?
I don't even want to get into 64-yard field goal attempts. But while we're at it, let's give Shannon Sharpe the mic for a second.
We have a high standard here in Colorado, or at least we used to pre-2016. And our Head Coach is beloved, even if just posthumously - R.I.P. Dan Reeves. Mike Shanahan took some calculated risks at times, but he produced a lot of W's along the way and we liked his moxie. Josh McDaniels, never mind, moving right along. John Fox, Gary Kubiak. Our dudes - although, having Peyton Manning didn't hurt. We don't want another Vance Joseph who looked like a deer in headlights, or Vic Fangio who just lacked any excitement whatsoever - him and his sweatpants. Like Jerry Seinfeld once said, by wearing sweatpants, "you're telling the world, I give up." Yep.
We were excited about you. And you're losing us. WTF, dude?
Here are your instructions going forward.
Don't get lost in the lights. Keep it simple. Don't be anyone but you, because I really believe you think you still have to audition for this job, especially after being dissected by the national media and Twitter after the Seattle loss. You don't. You have the job. Be the guy they hired.
You didn't have to settle for a FG on that 4th and Goal at the Houston 1 yard line. You KNOW you didn't want to kick that FG. You played it safe, because why? The Walmart bosses were watching and you feel like you need to be a grizzled football coach? You played it Fangio conservative. Don't do that!
Maybe it's all too fast right now, with the play calling and the game management and a bunch of new guys in a new system, with a lot of coaches in first time roles. Maybe we take this one game at a time. Just. Breathe. And be yourself, I think. Unless this is yourself, then be a Kubiak or Shanahan.
We still want to believe you're our dude. And you've got a really talented, young team at your disposal. They seem to buy into what you're selling Monday through Saturday, so what's happening on game days? Lead these players, man. Don't be their friend. Be their coach, their mentor and their director. Direct them to play a proverbial football symphony together.
This isn't the beginning of the end, but it's the beginning of something. Either something awesome or something you get when that toilet just won't flush. You better believe, we'll be watching again next weekend. But you're on notice. We've got our eyes on you, my friend.