Former Denver Broncos general manager John Elway dropped a massive truth bomb surrounding Nathaniel Hackett’s tenure as the team’s head coach. As it turns out, the Broncos almost went in another direction before deciding to sign Hackett as the head coach this offseason.

According to Elway, the Broncos already had their sights set on now-Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Denver liked what they heard from the former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator during their interview, and it sounds like they almost brought him on as the Broncos head coach (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press):

“We interviewed him last year, and we were really, really impressed with his interview, so it does not surprise me that he’s having good success up there,” Elway said of O’Connell. “He was very, very impressive in the interview process, and it was nip and tuck which way we wanted to go. So I was glad to see that he got an opportunity, and I’m glad to see he’s having the success he’s having because he gave a great interview with us.”

Hackett has struggled during his brief time with the Broncos, with the squad staring at a 2-3 record. Russell Wilson hasn’t looked like himself since arriving in Denver and it is clear that Hackett has been unable to bring out the best in the highly-decorated quarterback.

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O’Connell, on the other hand, has found a lot of success with the 4-1 Vikings, with Kirk Cousins serving as his QB1 in Minnesota.

Based on the level of praise Elway is giving O’Connell here, it does seem like he’s implying that the Broncos should have gone with O’Connell instead of Hackett:

“I think the system coming out from in L.A., being with the Rams, and what he learned out there, obviously he’s taken that, and I’m sure he’s putting in his own wrinkles to it,” Elway said. “But I think he’s grown up under a great base of coaching, especially offensive-minded coaches, to where he’s now taken it up there, and obviously it’s working for Kirk [Cousins]. That’s the key thing.”

Needless to say, this isn’t exactly a vote of confidence for Nathaniel Hackett from the former Broncos exec.