Nathaniel Hackett defends handing off play-calling duties following Broncos’ latest loss

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Nathaniel Hackett defends handing off play-calling duties following Broncos’ latest loss

Nathaniel Hackett handed over play-calling duties to passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak ahead Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with hopes of creating a “spark.”

It didn’t, and instead the Denver Broncos fell, 22-16, in overtime to the sputtering Raiders.

Davante Adams (17) of the Las Vegas Raiders scores a touchdown in overtime to beat the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on Nov. 20, 2022, in Denver.

Davante Adams (17) of the Las Vegas Raiders scores a touchdown in overtime to beat the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on Nov. 20, 2022, in Denver.
(Michael Owens/Getty Images)

“I want to do whatever I can to help this team. We’re so close,” Hackett said in defense of his decision.

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“We continually talk about this over and over again – couple plays here and there, and there’s a lot of different outcomes. And I have to look at myself first, see if there’s something that I can do to give some kind of a spark to the offense.”

He continued, “So, I thought it would be good if I stepped away from that, let Klint get upstairs and be able to see it from a bird’s-eye view up in the box and see if that would help us and allow Justin Outten to be down on the sideline and talk with Russell (Wilson), talk with him about the runs.”

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett reacts to a penalty call during the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, on Nov. 20, 2022.

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett reacts to a penalty call during the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, on Nov. 20, 2022.
(Aron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Broncos took a 10-0 lead after their first two possessions, giving off the impression that it was the right call by Hackett, but that would soon change. Hackett said he believed that the transition was “smooth” but added that they would evaluate it going forward.

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The Broncos fell to 3-7 and are now potentially facing their sixth straight losing season and seventh year without a playoff berth.

Hackett was asked if his future with the team was something on his mind.

“For me, everything’s about this team and this staff. I’ve told you guys that before. I just want to do everything I can to help this team win. We’ve been so close, we’ve had so many opportunities. We’ve had a lot of things happen this year that are unfortunate, but we have to continue to find ways to win,” he said.

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett looks on from the sideline against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Empower Field at Mile High on Nov. 20, 2022 in Denver.

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett looks on from the sideline against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Empower Field at Mile High on Nov. 20, 2022 in Denver.
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

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“And that’s my sole purpose, that’s all I’m looking to do. Whatever happens, those things I can’t control, and I always communicate with everybody, talk about everything, show them all the different things that are going on so they can have all their questions answered, and go from there.”

The Broncos will travel to Carolina on Sunday to take on the Panthers.