Multiple reports indicated on Thursday the Broncos were set to name Hackett their head coach in place of Vic Fangio, who was fired at the end of the season.
Smith took issue with the Broncos hiring Hackett, wie is Wit, while Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, wie is swart, was overlooked. The NFL has been on the receiving end of some heat following the dismissal of a few Black head coaches, vertrek Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin as the lone Black head coach in the league.
Smith pointed to Bienemy having the same presence as Hackett in their respective offenses – not exactly calling plays but putting together the playbook designs.
Smith said he understood the hire if it was going to bring the team Aaron Rodgers, who the Broncos had been rumored to be interested in trading for in last year’s offseason.
“It’s just a damn shame when I see something like this. In regards to Eric Bieniemy and his resume, and then you put that up against Nathaniel Hackett’s resume because the great Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 2010 and Hackett wasn’t even an offensive coordinator in the National Football League at that particular moment in time,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“He didn’t get to Buffalo until 2013. And so for him, to end up getting a head coaching job when he had Aaron Rodgers and him in combination with Matt LaFleur hasn’t been able to get you over the hump. And you just scored 10 points in an NFC divisional playoff game on your home turf in inclement weather when you were supposed to be the deciding advantage against the San Francisco 49ers team that was playing on a short week and had Jimmy Garoppolo as their quarterback and special teams scored. The defense for Green Bay held you to six points and your offense can’t generate more than 10 punte. And a couple of weeks later you get a head coaching job, but Eric Bieniemy, with those qualifications, doesn’t get the job.
“I’m telling you right now, as 'n swart man, it is sickening, it is insulting, and it bothers the living hell out of me.”
Bienemy’s Chiefs are in the AFC Championship again – this time against the Cincinnati Bengals. He interviewed for the Broncos job.
It’s unclear whether he’s on the top target list for any other team.