How head coach Nathaniel Hackett crafts a game plan

Hackett’s process will begin where it last ended.

Almost immediately after the Broncos’ previous game, Hackett would watch the tape from the night before to make corrections. On Monday evening, the coaching staff will meet to assess their recent performance. At that meeting, Hackett says he’ll go over “some quality control stuff to see who I am, what I’ve done. [and] which succeeded.”

The process is known around the league as self-scouting, and it’s a standard part of the Broncos’ weekly plan.

The coaches then retire to do their own thing for the upcoming game. For Hackett, that job is to cram as many tapes as possible onto the Broncos’ next opponent.

“I try to watch as many matches as possible. [to] have a good idea of ​​who they are [and] what they are,” says Hackett.

Then he can get to work whittling the Broncos’ playbook down to a game plan.

It’s important to realize that each week’s game plan only contains a fraction of the Broncos’ total game package. Through the offseason program and training camp, Hackett basically installed his system three times. By the end of the second week of training camp, the setup was complete – and the Broncos coaching staff deliberately gave their players plenty to think about. By comparison, the contents of the week-long game plan will seem relatively easy to master.

“It fluctuates, but it’s not even close to what we’ve put them in right now,” Hackett said of the percentage of total plays he’ll feature in a game plan. “You want to make it as difficult as possible now, so once you have a game plan it’s very specific, very situational and they know exactly what’s going to happen.”

They’ll know that, in part, because the options available don’t change after training camp. Hackett says he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night during the season, looking for a piece of paper to jot down a new play on. There may be a few ideas for tweaking certain elements, but Hackett largely trusts the system in place.

“Generally the way we build our playbook [is] that we have a bit of everything to attack anywhere,” says Hackett.