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Hot Topics: HC Nathaniel Hackett, Broncos continue to evaluate offensive performance in wake of loss to Jets

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett and the Broncos search for ways to improve their offensive performance, Hackett said the team will continue to evaluate the entire process, from scheme to execution.

"I think you sit there and you always look at yourself first as a coach and look at the things that you want to accomplish and the things that you want to do vs. different schemes," Hackett said Monday. "[The plays] do draw up good, and you're excited about them and you want to make sure the players know exactly why you're calling them, what you're calling them for. And then you want to see that being able to be capitalized on during the game. If it doesn't work, you have to go back to the drawing board, think back to some of those other schemes you might have had or feel as if you should get better at the same scheme. I think those are the things we're always constantly evaluating, looking to make sure we're doing the right things with the players we have and we're always going to try to get better and make sure that we're getting better.

"… There are some opportunities, but maybe those aren't the right opportunities. We'll evaluate everything."

The Broncos managed just nine points in Sunday's loss to the Jets, and they continue to rank 32nd in the NFL in scoring. Denver has scored just eight touchdowns through seven weeks.

While the team will work to ensure it has a stronger offensive plan in place, Hackett said there would be no staff changes or shifts in game-day responsibilities as Denver approaches a Week 8 game against the Jaguars in London.

"Right now, on a short week, we're going to keep it status quo," Hackett said. "We're all going to work together to build a great plan. I feel like our operation's been going really well. We held the ball for a long time, we moved the ball, we just didn't convert on some third downs that kind of stalled us. We're going to keep going how we are, and I think we'll evaluate everything. We always do. We always want to get better. We want to do everything we can to help this team get better as coaches."

Hackett specifically singled out third downs as an area where the team must improve. The Broncos won the time of possession battle and had 11 more first downs than the Jets in Sunday's loss, but Denver was just 5-of-16 on third down and could not string enough drives together to win the game.

"When you look at the third down, you have to be at least over 40 percent," Hackett said. "You have to be right around that 45 percent to be continually successful, and we had some opportunities there to convert some and we didn't come through, and that put the defense back out on the field and stalled our drives. We have to be better at that."

Despite all the missed opportunities, the Broncos still had a chance to tie the game — on two occasions — late in regulation. The Broncos have now lost four one-possession games, which is both frustrating and a suggestion that Denver may not be far from success.

"Those close games and all across the NFL, it's one play here, one play there that determine the outcome of every game," Hackett said. "… We just have to do better. We have to find a way to make those plays. We have to find a way to make better schemes in those situations, we have to compete more, we have to do whatever it takes to find a win."


With the Broncos at 2-5 and the trade deadline approaching on Nov. 2, trade rumors have swirled in recent days.

Asked on Monday about those rumors and how he'll handle the trade deadline in concert with General Manager George Paton, Hackett said his focus remains on this weekend's game against Jacksonville.

"I'm looking forward to winning a football game this week in London," Hackett said. "That's what our focus is on, and these guys are all on our team — and I love them and they work so hard and appreciate all of them and want them here. George handles that side. We'll communicate and we'll talk, but I'm very excited for these guys having another opportunity to go win a game."

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