Nathaniel Hackett wants everyone to ‘rally around the Broncos’ this season

Nathaniel Hackett and KJ Hamler watch rookie minicamp on Friday. Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.
Nathaniel Hackett and KJ Hamler watch rookie minicamp on Friday. Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.

With the 2022 NFL Draft officially in the rearview mirror, the Denver Broncos took one step closer toward Week 1 on Friday with the start of rookie minicamp.

Fans and media were able to get their first glimpse of the new players on the field. Not a single rookie skipped out.

After practice, new head coach Nathaniel Hackett took center stage.

The rookies capped off practice with some conditioning work. Hackett was out of breath in his press conference, having joined in on the action.

After a long history as a coordinator, the newly released 2022 schedule marks Hackett’s first as a head coach.

“It’s our team,” Hackett said. “It’s all of us. I’m proud to be the head coach here, but it’s all of us. It’s not just about one person. It was just exciting to get the schedule. Every year you get it [and] you’re so excited. You always go down there and try to circle those primetime games and to see all the ones that we have. It’s so exciting. I mean, to open up at Seattle is a great opportunity for our team to test us early. It was really cool just to see it and know that, hey, this is the first year in this role.”

According to Hackett, when he got his first glimpse of the schedule, his eyes went straight to one game.

“Thursday, Thursday game. I think you always go right into it, and you want to find out where that lies within opponents,” Hackett explained. “Just because that’s the biggest bearer of all of them. You got a game on Sunday, you put the guys through so much, win or lose, then you have to turn around, and you have to play in four days. Just from the preparation for the coaches, for how we get ready for that, how we get the players ready for that, recover their bodies. At the same time, get their minds right for a new opponent. You always want to find out where that lies within the season and how you’re going to adjust to it.”

On the topic of Russell Wilson facing his old team in Week 1, he enthusiastically said, “I think it’s going to be kind of exciting. It’s a really interesting game to put right there on Monday night, but I’m glad we’re doing it early. That was going to happen at some point in the season, so let’s attack it. Let’s all get into it and rally around the Broncos, and let’s get ready to go in there in a hostile environment and have a good game.”

Hackett kept his comments on recently arrested Jerry Jeudy light, saying, “We’ll look into all that stuff and make sure we do the right stuff. We’re here to support him and move on from this and get ready to get better on Monday.” Time will tell if Jeudy will be forced to miss any time this season and how it will impact the team.

Organized Team Activities (OTAs) will continue to be scattered throughout May and the beginning of June.