Russell Wilson 'devastated' about Nathaniel Hackett's firing: 'I wish I could've played better'

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson is "devastated" about the firing of head coach Nathaniel Hackett, he told reporters Wednesday.

“Obviously, you know I’m devastated about coach Hackett because I think he's an amazing man,” Wilson said.

"It's been a crazy season with tons of injuries, tons of everything else,” he added. “But the reality is that, you know, I wish I could have played better for him. I wish I could have played to the standard and the level of play I've always played at and know how to play at.”

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Hackett was fired the day after the Broncos’ 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day. With a 4-11 record, he is just the fifth head coach since the 1970 NFL merger to not make it through one season.

Wilson threw three interceptions, one touchdown and completed 15 of 27 passes for 214 yards in the blowout. His performance this season has been reported to present “a big red flag” for potential incoming Denver head coach candidates. His showing may impact how teams go about acquiring quarterbacks in the future.

The loss featured an in-game altercation between teammates, which has occurred at least once before during this season.

It presented a new low for Denver, which sits dead last in the NFL in points scored, averaging 15.5 points per contest. The team also has the worst third-down conversion rate in the NFL.

Hackett was hired due to his work as the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator. A timeline of his term shows that it was rough from Week 1 and appeared to get only worse. His 15 games with the Broncos constitute the seventh-shortest head coaching tenure in NFL history, per The Athletic.

Wilson emphasized how much Hackett’s absence will be felt because of the effort he gave to the job.

“He was a guy that spent all his time, all of his effort into us as players and staff members, everybody — coaches as well,” Wilson said. I know that he's gonna be an amazing coach.”

“He's a tremendous coach like I said, I love him to death and everybody misses him for sure.”

Nov 27, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) watches as the closing seconds tick away during the second half against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson reflected on his performance in addressing the firing of Nathaniel Hackett. (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)