Eight takeaways from Broncos’ Greg Penner and George Paton


Broncos CEO Greg Penner and general manager George Paton met with reporters Tuesday morning to discuss the firing of first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett, the search for Denver’s next coach and more. Here are eight quick takeaways.

1. If the 25 minutes Penner and Paton spent talking and answering questions showed anything, it’s that Penner will be heavily involved in the football operation moving forward. He is leading the coaching search. He confirmed the next head coach will report directly to him rather than to Paton. He said he, with help from Paton and the ownership group and input from the new coach, will conduct a top-down evaluation of the football operation.

“We’ve got to get this right,” he said.

2. Penner said he has confidence in Paton, but the second-year general manager put the responsibility for Denver’s 4-11 start to the season on his own shoulders. “Nathaniel is a very good football coach and he’s an even better person. It just didn’t work out, and that’s on me,” Paton said, calling himself the only person to blame. “I brought in the head coach and I brought in most of the players.”

3. Penner said he and the ownership group originally wanted to wait until the end of the regular season to make a decision on Hackett’s future, but Sunday’s 51-14 loss to the Rams changed the timeline.

“We didn’t go into this week thinking this was a time we were going to make a change, but after we saw the effort that we put forward on Sunday, some of the things that were going on off the field, we just felt like it was time to make a decision,” Penner said. “Once we made the decision, in all fairness to the organization and to Nathaniel, we felt we needed to move forward and make the change.”

4. Both men said the search for a new coach started in earnest today, though they didn’t offer details about a search committee. Penner did say that he expects the ownership group, particularly former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to be involved in the hiring process. Rice was recently a part of the Stanford search committee and has a deep background in football.

5. Among the qualifications for a new coach, Paton said experience is a plus but not a requirement. The Broncos have hired three straight first-time head coaches and none of them — Hackett, Vic Fangio and Vance Joseph — worked out.

6. Paton said the franchise hopes to interview defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero for the head coaching job.


Source link