Usually, when a head coach who calls offensive plays gives up play calling duties, the job falls to the offensive coordinator. In Denver, coach Nathaniel Hackett skipped over offensive coordinator Justin Outten and gave the job of calling plays to quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak.
As explained by Mike Klis of 9News.com, the decision to pass over Outten was driven by the simple fact that Kubiak has experience calling plays. Kubiak basically ran the offense in Minnesota last year, working for a head coach who was focused exclusively on the defense. And while plenty of Vikings fans have rolled their eyes at this development, Minnesota’s offense was far from horrible in 2021.
Klis writes that Hackett made the decision to give up the play-calling duties after the Broncos scored no points in the second half of last week’s loss to the Titans.
Hackett, obviously, still has final say over the calls that are made. He can veto the decision made by Klint. But the goal is to improve the overall process. And Hackett decided that this is the time to do it.
As one source explained it to PFT, it was obvious all week at practice that something was different. Kubiak had the walkie-talkie, calling the offensive plays. Hackett was dealing with all three phases of the team. To the team’s credit, no one blabbed about the development before the official announcement was made during a meeting on Saturday night. That helped make the news a surprise.
The pleasant surprise will come from a better offensive performance. The Broncos currently are averaging 14.5 points per game, their lowest average since 1966, when the Broncos set the all-time scoring futility record for the AFL with 14 points per game.
Something needs to change, obviously. Otherwise, Hackett will possibly be giving up not only his play-calling duties by the rest of them too.