Nathaniel Hackett on Mike Purcell’s shouting at Russell Wilson in loss to Carolina


A day after the Broncos’ worst loss of the season featured defensive lineman Mike Purcell yelling in the face of quarterback Russell Wilson on the sideline, head coach Nathaniel Hackett said he’s okay with the heated fourth-quarter exchange.

“You want every one of your football players to want to do anything to win, and you want them to hold each other accountable and you want them to fire each other up,” Hackett said. “Whenever that comes from a player (to another player), that means a lot to him. So I appreciate (Purcell’s) passion and understand it. I just don’t want him to get the personal foul in that situation.”

Purcell had been flagged for a personal foul on a Panthers field goal directly before getting in Wilson’s grill during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 23-10 loss to Carolina.

After the game, Purcell said “frustration” led to the exchange. Wilson said the lineman told him “let’s (expletive) go,” a sentiment the quarterback had no problem with.

“There’s no animosity at all,” Wilson said Sunday. “We’re on the same page — we’ve got to win.”

Hackett, who said he didn’t fully see the exchange as it unfolded behind him on the sideline, said it happened because “it’s an emotional game.”

“I talked with Mike after, talked with Russell,” Hackett said. “Everybody’s good.”

Russ’ struggles: The Broncos’ offense is last in football at 14.3 points per game and Wilson is 31st in completion percentage (58.9) and 30th in QBR (32.3).

Hackett said Wilson’s continued struggles in his first year in Denver is due “to a combination of a lot of different things.”

“There is some semblance of newness with this whole group, and we’ve had a lot of changes (due to injury),” Hackett said. “He’s out there and fighting every single play. I give him so much credit, because he’s taken a bunch of hits because he’s doing everything he can to make a play.”


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