Why the Broncos stayed in the news during 6 1/2 months since last game

Ryan O'Halloran, The Denver Post
Quarterback Russell Wilson was welcomed by head coach Nathaniel Hackett at Denver Broncos Headquarters in Englewood, Colorado on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

The Broncos haven’t played a game since losing to Kansas City on Jan. 8, but they have consistently been in the headlines during the offseason, which officially concludes Tuesday when the roster reports to training camp. Here is a recap of the last 6 1/2 months with the original Denver Post headlines:

“Fangio fired after three seasons”

What happened: Coach Vic Fangio was fired a day after the Broncos finished the season 7-10 (after starting 3-0). Fangio went 19-30 in three years and the offense finished 28th, 28th and 23rd in points scored.

What it meant: The Broncos started a search for their fifth coach in nine years and the first led by general manager George Paton, who was hired to replace John Elway in January 2021. It was time to start over with a new coach.

“Broncos hire Hackett as coach”

What happened: A nearly three-week search that saw general manager George Paton and his committee crisscross the country ended on the morning of Jan. 27 when he agreed to terms with Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Fangio. Hackett was interviewed by the Broncos on Jan. 14 (in Green Bay), Jan. 24 (Broncos facility) and Jan. 25 (Zoom with Paton). “I feel like this is a dream right now,” Hackett said at his introductory news conference. “This is absolutely unbelievable to be up here in front of everybody. To say that I’m excited would be a massive understatement.”

What it meant: Hackett, who was one of 10 candidates interviewed by the Broncos, represented the opposite of Fangio. Nineteen years Fangio’s junior, the 42-year old Hackett said he would call the offensive plays (Fangio called the defensive plays). The common themes between Hackett and Fangio? They joined the Broncos as first-time head coaches and neither had clarity at quarterback … but stay tuned.

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