Another day, another disaster on the podium for the Broncos coach. It has become an epidemic.
On Tuesday, it was Nathaniel Hackett who couldn’t provide a satisfactory answer to the team’s decision to settle for a 64-yard field goal at the end of their season-opening loss in Seattle. The Denver head coach originally admitted he should have played fourth and fifth about a minute ago to play, but then spent the rest of the press conference justifying his decision to attempt a kick that had only been taken twice in NFL history. Then, he wrapped things up with an ominous joke about trying to convince the referees with an extra time limit at the end of the match.
It passed like a lead balloon in the Broncos Country. Still plagued by Vic Fangio’s clock-management blunders, as well as contradictory shots from Vance Joseph, the fan base wasn’t in the mood for Hackett’s lack of accountability.
On Thursday, it was Justin Otten’s turn to address the situation. The Broncos offensive coordinator has been appearing weekly in front of the media, speaking for the first time since the team lost to the Seahawks.
Not surprisingly, he was asked about the decision to kick the goal. Given that it was the biggest offensive tackle in the game, that’s a valid question for the Denver offensive coordinator. Ditch the fact that it was Outten’s first foray into the role and she was totally handy.
However, the OC doesn’t seem to think so. Rather than provide an answer that would inspire confidence, Outten took on his role as a wannabe comedian while dodging the question.
The moderator replied, “I think that’s been taken up long enough.” “There is no Marty McFly to go back in time. We are focused on Houston.”
“There’s no Marty McFly…we’re in Houston” pic.twitter.com/2zVGQH5L8A
– Darren McKee (@DMacRadio) September 15, 2022
First of all, it was not adequately dealt with. Not by Outten. He didn’t say a word about it. He did not provide any explanation for the decision, insight into the process, or any other information.
At some point, it was time to move on. that’s fair. But this was Outten’s first public appearance since the match. This wasn’t the third day in a row that Hackett had been asked the same thing. This would hit a dead horse. This was not.
Essentially, Outten is indicating that he will never address anything that happens in this season’s game. He and the other coordinators talk midweek, so the previous match will always be in the rearview mirror. Doesn’t he ever want to talk about what happened? This is ridiculous.
Second, no one wants to see the smirk or hear the “back to the future” sign. Attempt to dodge the question cleverly and magic does not fly in the Broncos Country. Just answer the question.
This is something both Outten and Hackett need to be aware of. After the loss, fans at Mile High City are not in the mood for jokes. When defeat comes in part because of questionable decisions, they certainly don’t want to hear that the decision makers are frisky.
Finally, directing Bill Belichick is never a good idea. When someone wins multiple Super Bowls, they can walk away by saying “We’re focused on Houston.” Belichick could be dismissive. Often you can’t. This is how it is.
However, the offensive coordinator’s steps did not end there. When asked about the team’s first week performance, Outten had another scratch-off answer.
“I thought it was as smooth as it can be in the first game with a new midfielder and a new system, in a noisy environment,” said the offensive coordinator.
The Broncos committed 12 penalties in Seattle. They had several plays that were rushed, as the team tried to speed up to avoid match delay penalties. There were communication malfunctions, which led to goal-line confusion and explosive plays.
It was dirty. It was messy. She was ugly.
Did the Broncos do some good things? surely. Move the ball well. They were able to run and throw it. They were effective, and they only had to play once in the game.
But they scored 16 points. They lost a match in which their defense only surrendered 17. That’s not good enough.
However, the offensive team coordinator said it was “as smooth as can be”. This is the norm? This is the tape?
Again, this answer was wrong by Outten. Rather than admitting that his crime needed a clean-up, he tried to convince people that his collection had been buttoned up.
Insulting the intelligence of the fan base is never a good idea. This answer bounded on that region.
Sunday can’t come soon enough for the Broncos. In particular, their coaching staff should arrive.
Hopefully Denver can beat Houston. After that, the tough questions will be over and everyone will be in the mood for vaudeville on the podium.
Because right now, in the wake of an embarrassing loss to the national television audience, the head coach and offensive coordinator has done nothing to calm the fans. In fact, they made the situation worse.
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