The Denver Broncos are the home of several former Green Bay Packers coaches, and if head coach Nathaniel Hackett were to be fired, it’s been reported that another ex-Packers coach would take over as interim HC.
After a 22-16 loss in overtime to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Broncos are now 3-7 in Hackett’s first season as head coach. The loss put the Broncos at the bottom of the AFC West and almost certainly ended any hopes that they had of a late push to make the playoffs.
Fans are already getting impatient with Hackett, and according to local Denver insider Benjamin Allbright, the team is already considering former Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers to take over as interim coach if the team fires Hackett.
Capers joined the Broncos as a senior defensive assistant this year, but his coaching resume spans decades. He was Green Bay’s defensive coordinator during the team’s most recently Super Bowl title, serving from 2009 to 2017.
NFL teams normally give their first-time head coaches a bit more leeway, but things have gone so poorly for Hackett that he might not make it out of the 2022 season.
Nathaniel Hackett’s Coaching Career
Packers fans may have only remembered Hackett from his days as the Packers offensive coordinator, but his coaching resume dates back almost two decades.
Hackett got his start at the college level, working at UC Davis and Stanford before getting his first opportunity in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an offensive quality control coach. He spent two seasons with the team before joining the Buffalo Bills for a similar role in 2008 and 2009.
After a brief stint back at the college level with Syracuse, Hackett returned to the Bills where he was promoted to offensive coordinator for two seasons. He then spent four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a QB coach and offensive coordinator before Matt LaFleur convinced him to join the staff in Green Bay.
Hackett became one of the hottest head coaching candidates in the 2022 offseason thanks to an impressive three-year run with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense, which led the NFL in scoring in 2020. Hackett’s quirky personality with phrases including the “gold zone” helped endear him to fans and owners alike before taking the Broncos head coaching gig.
His time as a first-time head coach might be coming to a premature end, but it’s unlikely that Hackett’s coaching career will be over after 2022.
Would Hackett Return to Green Bay if Fired?
If the Broncos were to part ways with Hackett before the season, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him take on some kind of role for the Packers.
The Packers offense has been middling at best in 2022, averaging just 18.4 points, which is the 26th-best scoring offense in the NFL. The loss of Davante Adams likely played a big role in that drop off in production, but the loss of key staff members including Hackett likely played a part as well.
It could be too little too late for the Packers, but bringing in Hackett if he were to get fired would at least bring a familiar face back into the locker room and help correct some of the problems that Green Bay’s younger offensive players are facing.
The Packers could also consider bringing back Hackett in 2023, but with how chaotic next offseason is expected to be for Green Bay, it’s too early to tell which coaching changes will need to be made.