jolly red giant Posted October 22, 2022 Share Posted October 22, 2022 Some time ago there was a discussion about what would determine the success or failure of George Paton’s tenure as GM of the Broncos. My view, and I think a view held by a few others on this forum, was that the key factors in determining his success would be 1.) who he hired as HC – and 2.) how he solved the QB problem. Well – Paton has hired the HC and Paton went out an got his QB – so it is appropriate to make an assessment of where things are at. In my opinion there are a number of serious questions to be asked – 1.) Did Paton hire Hackett out of a belief that by doing so he could get Rodgers into Denver as QB? If this is the case, then Paton deserves to by kicked to the kerb for using this as the criteria for hiring the HC. Such a move was almost guaranteed to blow up in your face – and it is possible that this is what has happened. 2.) What kind of research did Paton do into Hackett before appointing him? Hackett’s record is as follows – while OC for the Bills they ranked 29th in offence. He got the job because Doug Marrone, who he worked under at Syracuse, was hired as HC for the Bills. Marrone was sacked after two inept years and Hackett was out the door with him. After a year as Jags QB coach he was promoted to OC – why – because Marrone was hired as HC by the Jags. Despite having a league best rushing attack and the Jags going to the AFC CG, Jags fans were constantly critical of Hackett as OC and with the wheels coming off the Jags bus the following season, Hackett was sacked by Marrone halfway through the season. It could be argued that Hackett had nothing to work with at QB – but he also did not get near a job with a quality QB until GB. After that Hackett became Rodgers best buddy in GB – having a laugh and playing darts – but not calling plays. In my view this is not the resume of anyone showing the ability to be a HC. 3.) What evidence did Paton have that Hackett’s supporting staff would be up to the job? Hackett hired Outten as OC – he was not the first choice – GB’s OL coach Adam Stenavich was first choice but he was promoted to OC by GB. Outten has very little NFL experience and nothing in his resume to show that he can operate as an OC. What makes this decision worse is that the Broncos hired Klint Kubiak the same day as Outten to act as QB coach. Unlike Outten, Kubiak actually has experience as OC and did a half decent job. Much of the rest of the offence are buddies of Hackett from GB – maybe they played darts with Rodgers as well. It is clear that Evero has done a good job – but unlike the other hires by Hackett, Evero has 14 years NFL experience working with the Bucs, the 49ers, GB and the Rams before coming to the Broncos – he has some pedigree. Several of the defensive coaches are here because of Evero, not Hackett – and Stukes (who also has significant NFL experience) also came because of the Rams connection with Evero. So – Hackett’s side of the ball has been a disaster while Evero brought people with him with some ability. This points to Paton not analysing correctly the coaching staff that Hackett intended on hiring – or accepting Hackett proposing staff that he couldn’t get – which also falls back on Paton. 4.) What was Paton’s understanding of the nature of Wilson’s entourage and its role in affairs? Wilson and his image have been groomed from a young age – if you are practicing news conferences at the age of 7 you are going to create a persona that will appear fake to most people. This is tolerated when you are winning – but becomes a major issue when you are not. It appears that the stuff outside of football is given equal standing by Wilson and his team as playing the game. When you are playing well this is pushed to the background – when things go wrong then it becomes a major distraction. You have to question why Paton agreed to Wilson having an office for his entourage in the Broncos facility – the club facility should be about football and nothing else – let Wilson sort out his off the field stuff himself, the GM has to send the message that football is the first and only thing that matters. 5.) What knowledge did Paton have of the dynamic in Seattle between Wilson and the coaching staff and Wilson and the team? It is clear from comments that have emerged from Seattle (both before and after the trade) that many players in Seattle with what they considered as Wilson’s ‘aloofness’. To make contact with Wilson you had to go through a maze built by his entourage – and that is not how you build personal relationships and a team ethic. Wilson won a SB in Seattle and constantly had them as a play-off team which gave him a certain leeway with the players – but it is now clear that many did not consider as a leader on the team because he didn’t act like a leader. Unlike in Seattle – the Broncos players and fans have no loyalty to Wilson. The onus is on him to build those relationships and he has do everything in his power to ensure that it happens. It is clear that there is a deep and growing frustration with Wilson’s play on the field and his antics off of it. There are many players who are relying on getting another contract to set themselves in a good financial position post-football – and they see Wilson (and Hackett) blowing their chance of getting a better contract. The same with the fans – with Wilson came expectations – and we got the polished image of ‘let’s ride’ – but the shine is gone. 6.) Did Paton consider the skillset that Wilson has and how it would mesh with Hackett’s offensive scheme? As broncosfan has pointed out – the WCO of Hackett is a very difficult scheme to learn and it relies on precision and timing. These are not traits that Wilson has ever demonstrated – he is not and never has been that type of a QB. It is trying to put a square peg in a round hole and it is proving to be a disaster. Paton should have been conscious that the offensive scheme that Hackett intended to install was not what Wilson needed and if you are going to use draft capital and five years of cap space then the GM must be sure that the HC and QB are compatible – Paton did not do this and Seattle are laughing all the way to next years draft (they are currently getting the 1.7 and 2.38 picks). 7.) What measures is Paton taking to sort out the problem? From the outside it doesn’t seem like he is doing anything. Hackett is not getting any better – Wilson if anything seems to be getting worse. The Broncos could lose to the Jets and the Jags in the next two games and go into the bye-week 2-6. The 10 days between the Colts and the Bolts did nothing to show that Hackett has learned anything – why would two weeks produce a different result. The Broncos are married to Wilson for four years at a minimum – so the only move is to try and fix the other major issue – the fact that Hackett is not an NFL HC. Paton has to acknowledge that he made a major blunder hiring Hackett and he should fire him after the Jags game at the latest (even if the Broncos win the next two). Then he needs to pull Wilson into his office – read the riot act – and tell him that his image and reputation is heading down the toilet unless he puts everything else in the bin and focusses on football. Paton should kick the entourage out of the facility and lock the door. Let’s see if Evero is HC material – and see if Kubiak can put some sort of a scheme together that utilises Wilson’s skillset and stop jamming that square peg where it won’t go. If that doesn’t work then Paton needs to find a HC or OC who can scheme for Wilson and can minimise his limitations. Then we might have some hope of progress. In the meantime, I think Paton deserves an unmerciful kick in the behind for not one – but several blunders during the past offseason. And if Paton does not act then the Walmarts need to act and find a GM who can fix this mess. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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