The Denver Broncos have new figures in two of the franchise’s most important positions — head coach and quarterback.
In order for the Broncos to reach the promised land they so desperately crave, new head coach Nathaniel Hackett and new quarterback Russell Wilson are going to have to have a positive working relationship, and so far, they appear to have exactly that.
“Obviously our off-the-field relationship has been good, but our on-the-field on the first day today—I told him at the end—congratulations on our first practice together. It’s a blessing,” Wilson told the media after practice on Monday. “To be a head coach in the National Football League, it takes a lot of hard work, it takes a lot of excellence, and everything else. I think he’s going to be really amazing. He’s an amazing teacher, and I think that’s what you love about it. I think everybody is learning at such a rapid pace and an exponential rate. That’s been really great. He just brings great energy. He’s young, he’s vibrant and he brings that intelligence to the game. He has a great pedigree, and he wants to win, too. Our relationship is really tight.”
Hackett echoed that sentiment during his post-practice press conference.
“It’s great,” Hackett said. “It’s all the guys. Everybody is coming in, they’re so fired up, so excited to get out there. In the end that’s what you want. You want them to come out here. You want them to want to practice and want to get better in that, and ‘Russ’ (QB Russell Wilson) leads that charge. This guy loves practice. Just out there at the end, he was like, ‘Wait, we’re done? Can we do more?’ And you’re like, ‘Man, I would love to, but we have to tone it down. Baby steps.’ But he’s awesome.”
Some coaches might struggle with the fact that Wilson can challenge his coaching at times, but that won’t be an issue for Hackett, who spent the last several years coaching Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
“It’s very much the same from the challenge standpoint,” Hackett said of how coaching Wilson is similar to coaching Rodgers. “It’s a little different—‘Russ’, he’s asking a lot of questions. It’s not really to compare either of those guys. They’re both great players. But it’s fun to be with ‘Russ’ because he’s always on and always wants to know the answer, always wants to know the why. Always wants to continually work with him. I really appreciate that about him.”
If Hackett and Wilson continue to work together this will, Denver should go a long way this season.