ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett knows the clock has already struck midnight on his — and his team’s — early-season clock management woes.
He said Monday he and his staff had already met on the topic that morning and would continue with the review into the evening.
“We’ve got to make sure the communication is clear and concise,” Hackett said. “I need to do better making decisions, faster and quicker and getting that information to the quarterback … It’s got to improve.”
The Broncos moved to 1-1 after Sunday’s 16-9 victory over the Houston Texans — Hackett’s first regular-season win as the team’s head coach — but the team’s start has been marred by consistent troubles with the play clock and penalties.
The Broncos have been assessed four delay of game penalties already this season, including two in the win over the Texans on field goal attempts, and they used their last timeout of the second half Sunday with 7 minutes, 38 seconds left in the game because they couldn’t get organized.
They also used a timeout in the second half when they did not have returner Montrell Washington on the field — there were only 10 players in the formation — as the Texans prepared to punt. At one point Sunday, things had become such a struggle when the Broncos had the ball in the fourth quarter, the crowd in Empower Field at Mile High counted down the play clock each time it approached zero.
“It’s about organization and communication,” Hackett said. ” … We just need to tighten that process up so we can make better decisions faster … Most important is being on the same page with [quarterback] Russell [Wilson], and I think I can do a better job.”
Hackett, who added he intends to keep playcalling duties, said he and his staff have also reviewed how many people are communicating with him on the headsets at any one time. He also said he had an appreciation for all of the times, as an offensive coordinator, when he was on the other side of the conversations as the play clock was already moving.
“It’s funny looking back at all my time in the past and the conversations that go on, you always have an opinion, and it’s interesting that it is now your opinion, your decision, is the one that matters,” Hackett said. “And I just want to be sure that I am the most efficient that I can possibly be and communicate the best way that I can, and to this point I haven’t done that and I can do a lot better … it is definitely a challenge and it’s something to embrace … and I just want to get better.”