Colorado

Ex-Nuggets coach George Karl calls for firing of Broncos’ Nathaniel Hackett: ‘He needs to be done in Denver’

The Denver Broncos have been the disappointment of the 2022 NFL season so far. They’re currently on a four-game losing streak, trailing 2-5 in last place in the AFC West, new quarterback Russell Wilson hasn’t impressed and the head coach of the first year, Nathaniel Hackett, could be in the hot seat. At least that’s what former head coach of the Denver Nuggets and NBA Hall of Famer George Karl wants.

This week, Karl took to Twitter to claim that Hackett should be finished off in Denver.

Karl tweeted: “I always support coaches and would rarely advocate for their dismissal. But Hackett needs to be taken down in Denver with the Broncos. The search for someone who can bond with Wilson and turn him back into a player must begin immediately. Nathaniel doesn’t seem to be that person.”

Karl is a sports legend in Denver. He rose through the NBA coaching ranks after his playing career in 1979, eventually winning 1,175 games as head coach. According to his Hall of Fame profile, he led five different teams into the NBA postseason 22 times, but spent nine seasons in Denver and became the 2013 NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Nuggets to a 57-25 record.

We don’t often see first-year head coaches being fired, but it does happen. Last year, Urban Meyer lost his job as head coach of his Jaguars midseason due to issues not only related to play on the field, but the Houston Texans also let David Culley go — a move that was arguably controversial after him overachieved despite the 4-13 record. The last freshman head coach to be fired prior to last season was Steve Wilks of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018.

Broncos fans are understandably upset with how the season has started. Despite Hackett’s offensive background, the Broncos average the fewest points per game in the league (14.3 points) and have just four touchdowns on 17 red-zone drives, which is the worst red-zone rate since the Rams in 2007.

Wilson’s struggles are a big reason the Broncos have also disappointed, despite struggling with injuries. After missing last week’s matchup due to a hamstring problem, Wilson told reporters he will be “ready to rock” On Sunday. He even said he used the flight to London for his own exercise, claiming to spend four of the eight hours on the plane stretching and exercising. While other players slept, Wilson did high-knees up and down the aisle, per DNVR.

Karl isn’t the only one who wants Hackett gone, but it remains to be seen how patient the franchise will be. For now, GM George Paton Hackett isn’t giving up after seven games.

“I believe in Nathaniel,” he told reporters. “I support Nathaniel 100 percent. He’s been there for seven games. The test he faced is unprecedented. We had four prime time games so he kind of had to learn in front of the whole world. But I really like how he kept the team together – they’re bonded, he held our building together – and I appreciate how he pushed through it.”

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