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Broncos owner Greg Penner: New head coach will report to me, not George Paton

It was a given that Nathaniel Hackett wasn't long for Denver, the only question remained was whether the Broncos would fire him during or after the season. Now that Hackett is only the fourth NFL head coach to not finish his first year on the job, Mike Florio and Myles Simmons debate whether it was bad coaching or Russell Wilson that sealed his fate.

Broncos owner Greg Penner is making clear that he’s calling the shots on the team’s next head coach.

Although Penner expressed confidence in General Manager George Paton and said Paton will be heavily involved, Penner said that overseeing the next head coach will fall to the owner in Denver going forward.

“The new coach will report to me, which is a more typical structure in the NFL. Obviously, the relationship between the general manager and head coach is a critical one, and George is going to be intimately involved in this process of looking for a new head coach and we’ll make sure there’s a good fit there,” Penner said.

That raises the question of whether Penner might hire a head coach who isn’t on the same page as Paton about the direction of the franchise, and whether Paton could ultimately be the odd man out.

Penner sounded confident, however, that the Broncos will find a head coach everyone is on board with, and he said former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is one of the Broncos’ minority owners, will be involved in the coaching search.

At the end of a highly disappointing season, the Broncos have a very big job ahead of them, and a job Penner needs to get right.