The Denver Broncos are making moves focused on both the future and the immediate present regarding how the organization moves forward after a disastrous 2022 season. How did Penner outline his demands as the man in charge and what it means for the Broncos as a whole?

Greg Penner isn’t going to stand idle as Denver Broncos struggle

The Denver Broncos embarked on a new journey this past off-season with the Walton-Penner family ownership group stepping in and taking over for the late, great Pat Bowlen. Penner’s involvement in the team’s day-to-day operations has been by learning on the fly, but one thing is clear: he means business.

On Tuesday, Penner and general manager George Paton spoke to the media a day following the dismissal of former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett after just 15 games. Tuesday’s press conference contained moments of accountability, acknowledgment, and strategizing for what the foundation will look like for the Broncos from now on.

“When we purchased this great franchise in August, this was not the season we were expecting,” Penner expressed in his opening statement on Tuesday. “It has been a season that’s disappointing for our fans and not what they deserve. Their loyalty and support through these difficult seasons have been incredible. I want to personally apologize to our fans and all of Broncos Country. We know that we need to be better, and we will. The Denver Broncos are a proud franchise with a rich history and a winning tradition. As owners, it’s incumbent on us to have high expectations, set a high standard, and ensure there is accountability. We talked about that at the beginning of the season. It was true then, and it is true now. It is also important for us to be realistic about where we are and the work that needs to be done. That starts today with our head coaching search. I will lead a thorough process with input from our other owners and from [General Manager] George [Paton], who I have confidence in as our general manager. This will be a crucial offseason for us across our football operations—that’s coaching, personnel and support staff. We’ve got to get this right.”

Why did the Broncos decide to move on from Nathaniel Hackett with two games remaining on the season? Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Rams played a part in it, but Penner expressed the entire body of work being the main reason.

“You have to look at the full body of work,” the Broncos CEO acknowledged. “It wasn’t just a decision based on what happened on Sunday. As George said, Sunday was an embarrassment to our organization. The players feel that way about it—as do the staff, ownership, everyone—but it wasn’t just about Sunday. It was about the full body of work. For a number of reasons, this just wasn’t the right fit.”

Now Denver’s head coaching search will begin as the ownership group begins researching candidates they want to interview as the Broncos look to find their next candidate to lead the team going forward, with culture and strong leadership being two key traits they’re looking for.

The next head coach will report directly to Penner, but will still have a collaborative relationship with Paton. More importantly, the Broncos CEO expressed that the new head coach will have unlimited resources at their disposal which could change the status quo for how Denver has previously operated without ownership in place.

Penner’s delivery on Tuesday showcased how much he cares about Broncos fans who have endured seven losing seasons in a row, which goes against the tradition for which the organization stands for.

“The main message I said from the beginning is, ‘I’m sorry to the fans,’ Penner reiterated. “The frustration of a number of losing seasons is high, but this season, it’s even higher because of the expectations that we had going in. We felt like we had a lot of pieces in place to have a very successful season. I know the players in this building are—we have good players, and we didn’t put the pieces together. Our fans have been patient. We have the best fans in the world, but we need to put a better product on the field.”

The Broncos have two games remaining against the Kansas City Chiefs this upcoming Sunday, and next week at home against the Los Angeles Rams. Change is a constant around the NFL and it appears that Penner is grabbing the bull by the horns as he leads the search for the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.