ENGLEWOOD, Colorado— After several game management errors in the Broncos’ Week 2 win over the Texans, head coach Nathaniel Hackett said he and the Broncos staff are working to strengthen the process to improve their communication.
In the Broncos’ 16-9 victory, the team was whistled for a pair of late game penalties and were forced to burn timeouts in the second half to avoid additional penalties. The game clock also nearly expired on several snaps the Broncos were able to pull off in time.
“As far as the operation goes, it’s something we talk about a lot,” Hackett said Monday. “There are a lot of things. We have to make sure the communication is clear and concise. I have to do better to make decisions faster and faster and pass that information to the quarterback and be on the same page. with him. That’s all we’re talking about from this morning until tonight and making sure it gets better.”
Denver’s first game delay came as the Broncos faced a fourth and a goal from the 1-yard line from Houston just before halftime. In the third quarter, Denver faced a fourth-and-2 from Houston’s 36-yard line. In this case, the Broncos sent the field goal team, but the game clock ran out and the ensuing penalty knocked Denver out of field goal range.
Hackett said on Monday he plans to keep his offense on the ground for two fourth downs, but noted he needs to make a quicker decision.
“I was considering those two situations, and that’s where I just have to communicate better with everyone, get the right information and make the right decisions,” Hackett said.
As the Broncos aim to improve that process, Hackett said he will assess both how many people are involved in the game management process and how — and when — he gets his information during the game.
“Yes, I think it is. [the number of people], and I think I just need to be a little bit more ahead, because when you call games, you naturally want to launch the next game,” Hackett said. “I think just getting that information a little bit earlier these are the things we talk about and go through to make sure I have all the right information. The most important thing is just to be on the same page with Russell [Wilson] too. Let him know, ‘Hey, we might have four downs here.’ I think I could do a better job of making him aware of that.”
Hackett said the Broncos won’t be adding any additional members to their staff and said he’s “very confident” in the group.
“I think everything is still open in the air, but for us, everyone is fine,” Hackett said. “We just need to sort things out together. We need to communicate better. It starts with me, then I get the information I need. I’m excited – sometimes I’m a bit aggressive. And then sometimes it’s not maybe not the right decision so I just need to be sure that all the right information is given to me at the right time so that we can make the decision for those.
The Broncos head coach also noted that he would not be giving up call-on-play duties or game management responsibilities.
“I’m going to keep playing,” Hackett said. “I think it’s been quite effective so far. We’ve done a good job of moving the ball. We’ve had a good plan from that point of view. We just have to finish those practices. I think from management from the game point of view, I think we just need to tighten this up a lot of us, we’re all working together for the first time, so we just want to make sure that we’re more efficient in that area and have the ability to make better decisions and faster decisions.”
As the Broncos head into Week 3 at 1-1, Hackett said he’s confident with some improvement in the process Denver can quickly clean up its mistakes.
“Without a doubt,” Hackett said. “It’s a question of organization and communication. In times like these, it happens so quickly. I think the process of what we do and everything we do is a process, until the day of the match, during the day of the match. Everything is [about] process, process, process. We just need to tighten up that process so we can make better decisions faster.”
The Broncos hit the red zone twice in Sunday’s game but were unable to hit the ball for touchdowns.
In six goal games to play, Denver has thrown five passes and only ran the ball once. The Broncos are yet to score a touchdown in the red zone this season.
“First and foremost, we have to make sure we have the best plays called,” Hackett said of the improvement inside the 20-yard line. “It always starts with me. I want to make sure we have the best things and we have to make sure we get the ball to our playmakers, whether it’s a Courtland [Sutton]Javonte [Williams]Melvine [Gordon III] – any of these guys. I just want to make sure that we continuously get the right patterns for there and execute them correctly.”