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Broncos' Hackett hires Rosburg to help him in his decisions

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

By ARNIE STAPLETON

AP Pro Football Writer

DENVER (AP) Denver Broncos first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett has lured longtime NFL assistant coach Jerry Rosburg out of retirement to help him make better decisions during games.

Rosburg, 66, agreed to join Hackett's staff after observing practice during the week and meeting with quarterback Russell Wilson and others in the organization.

His first game in the booth for the Broncos (1-1) came Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers (1-1).

Rosburg's hiring as a senior assistant followed several operational miscues by Denver's rookie head coach and multiple communication breakdowns on his staff in the first two weeks of the season.

Hackett said a day after Denver's 16-9 win over Houston last weekend that he would correct the mistakes that dogged the Broncos at Seattle and at home against the Texans.

"We have to make sure the communication is clear and concise," Hackett said Monday. "I need to do better at making decisions faster and quicker and getting that information to the quarterback and being on the same page with him. ... It has to improve."

On Thursday, Hackett said some of the operational errors stemmed from having had no prior head coaching experience. Hackett also has two first-time coordinators in Justin Outten on offense and Ejiro Evero on defense.

Hackett was criticized after failing to get calls into his QB fast enough in a 17-16 loss at Seattle in Week 1 when he chose to try a 64-yard field goal (1-in-20 chance) rather than having Wilson go for it on fourth-and-5 (70% chance) in the final minute.

After the operational issues continued in Week 2, when the home crowd resorted to counting down the play clock for the Broncos offense, Hackett huddled with general manager George Paton and told him he'd like to hire a veteran presence to help him manage the game.

He quickly honed in on Rosburg, who has two decades of experience in the NFL. Rosburg was living in Florida following his retirement from the Baltimore Ravens in 2019 after spending 11 seasons as John Harbaugh's special teams coordinator and confidant.

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Updated September 25, 2022

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