DENVER — Young coaches will soon occupy the most critical positions on Nathaniel Hackett's first staff.
Hackett, 42, represents a first-time head coach. Justin Outten, 38, is a novice offensive coordinator. And 41-year-old Ejero Eviro, whose hiring should become official Wednesday, has never served above a secondary boss in the NFL as he takes over Denver's defense. Throw in special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes, 45, and Klint Kubiak, 34, as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, and the Broncos will trend roughly two decades younger at the most important positions.
Hackett has leaned into energy and innovation. I don't like it. I love it.
This is who Hackett is. There's no way to know if it will work, but we've seen two other philosophies create islands of misfit toys with Vance Joseph and Vic Fangio. Joseph had little control over his coaching staff, with veterans forced onto him that led to a clear lack of cohesiveness. Fangio went with an older staff, and while the knowledge was unquestioned, there was clearly a disconnect in the presentation. Falling asleep in meetings has been mentioned more than once on how Hackett's vision distinguished himself in the Broncos' exhaustive coaching search.
"When it comes to being a head coach in this league, it's about communication and energy, which are two things I love, and it's about ingenuity. Those are things that are very important to me," Hackett told Denver7 recently. "At the same time, I think the number one job for a head football coach is to create an environment where everybody is so excited to show up and work everyday, be held accountable and do anything it takes to win. I am going to exude that."
Hackett brought in a coach for his coaches, if you will, adding John Vieira as an instructional designer. Vieira served in a similar role for the Packers. Hackett labeled this the "YouTube generation," explaining reaching the players requires creativity. Hackett plans to make it interactive, incorporating everything from pop culture to movies and "maybe even animal noises," he said with a smile. If an assistant or player dozes off, it should be because they are tired, not because they are bored.
"His energy, he's a coach's son. It's always great to be around intelligent football minds, and someone who is also a great person," Kubiak said of his impression of Hackett on Denver7's Broncos Country Connected.
A look at the staff:
Asst. to head coach: Derek Haithcock
Instructional designer: John Vieira
OC: Justin Outten
DC: Ejiro Evero
ST: Dwayne Stukes
LBs: Peter Hansen
OLBs: Bert Watts
TEs: Jake Moreland
Senior Defense Asst: Dom Capers
Dline: Marcus Dixon
Consultant: Bill Kollar
DBs: Christian Parker
Asst. DBs: Ola Adams
Asst. ST: Mike Mallory
Offensive line: Butch Barry
Asst. OL: Ben Steele
WRs: Zach Azzanni
RBs: Tyrone Wheatley
Offensive Quality Control: Ramon Chinyoung,
Hackett brought a clear vision in how he wants to create a culture with his coaches. He learned under a first-time boss in Matt LaFleur, and is clearly trying to mirror many of the steps he observed over three years in Green Bay.
The coaches will be young, but it represents a worthy risk after the result of the last six years have gotten old.