Nathaniel Hackett will receive an immediate opportunity to bounce back. The recently fired Broncos HC will be hired as the next Jets offensive coordinator, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The Jets have since announced the move.
This represents a quick turnaround for Hackett, who became just the third head coach to be fired before his first season ended since the 1970 merger. But Hackett brings extensive experience as an OC, having held that title for the Bills, Jaguars and Packers over the past 10 years. The Jets are also hiring Keith Carter as their offensive line coach, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
The Jets conducted an expansive search to replace Mike LaFleur, and considering Hackett’s recent past, this is a rather surprising hire. The Broncos submitted a bizarre season under Hackett, falling to last place offensively despite trading for Russell Wilson. Hackett both hired a game management coach and removed himself as Denver’s play-caller this season, and the Broncos cut the cord after the Rams’ Christmas Day 50-spot.
But Denver experienced a run of injury issues as well. The team lost starting wideout Tim Patrick in training camp, was down Javonte Williams and Garett Bolles by October and regularly played without multiple starting offensive linemen. Wilson also missed time due to injury. Hackett worked with Wilson to redesign Denver’s offense, and the results produced a spectacular failure. But this Jets hire will undoubtedly be connected to the quarterback many thought the Broncos were trying to lure last year.
Aaron Rodgers has spoken highly of Hackett, who held a non-play-calling OC role in Green Bay for three seasons. The Jets are among the latest teams connected to the all-time great, who is now in a third offseason of trade rumors. The Broncos were unable to lure Rodgers from the Packers to pair him with Hackett, but the rumblings about the 18-year veteran being on the move persist. Jets-Rodgers connections will intensify with the Hackett hire.
Hackett, 43, worked as Doug Marrone‘s OC in Buffalo and Jacksonville. Both jobs featured play-calling duties. While he was not gifted much at quarterback during these stints, four of the five offenses he oversaw ranked outside the top 16 — three of those finishing outside the top 20. The outlier came in 2017, when the Jaguars made a surprising run to the AFC championship game behind a strong defense and the No. 5-ranked scoring offense. The Jags upset the Steelers in the divisional round, scoring 45 points in that game, and held a two-score lead on the Patriots in the second half the following week. Jacksonville reached that stage despite losing Allen Robinson early in the season. The team crashed back to earth in 2018, with Blake Bortles regressing and Hackett being fired. But Hackett landed the Green Bay job soon after.
The Jets were the only team to interview Hackett for their OC gig this year. The Jets will now have employed both Nathaniel and Paul Hackett as OC; the elder Hackett worked in this role from 2001-04. Hackett and Robert Saleh were also on the Jaguars’ staff together in 2016, when the current Jets HC coached Jacksonville’s linebackers.
The Jets are placing a bet Wilson and the Broncos’ spate of injuries were the cause of Hackett’s shortcomings and/or that Hackett’s presence will appeal to Rodgers, who should have multiple suitors. The Packers have not committed to trading Rodgers, but GM Brian Gutekunst did say Jordan Love is ready to start. Jets owner Woody Johnson was in place when the team traded for Brett Favre before his age-39 season back in 2008. Rodgers turned 39 last month. Even if Rodgers is not bound for the Big Apple, the Jets should be expected to acquire a veteran passer. Johnson said he is prepared to pay up for one, after the team’s Zach Wilson experiment busted early. Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo are also set to be available, complicating a Rodgers path that may take longer to form.
The Titans axed Carter when they jettisoned OC Todd Downing this month. Carter served as Tennessee’s O-line coach for the past five seasons; that time overlaps entirely with Derrick Henry‘s surge and the team’s run of solid play with Ryan Tannehill. Other teams pursued Carter, SNY’s Connor Hughes tweets, but he will go with Hackett to New York.
33 comments on “Jets Hire Nathaniel Hackett As OC”
it’s the Jets!
there’s too much to say at this point. easier to just assume they’re gonna make absurd hires and decisions.
Must be going all in for Rodgers
Gotta be thinking AR12 sent the appropriate emoji.
The old “this time, he’ll get traded” approach. That worked well in Denver.
They getting Jags OC Hackett
Imo good hire. This increases the likelihood that Rodgers will be traded to the Jets. Its the Favre saga version 2 except its not 2008
Can we go back to 2008? It was not such a crazy time. That year you could define a woman even if you are a Supreme Court Lawyer. Among many other things.
Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
Rodgers to the jets now?
He’s certainly qualified but somehow this seems like a match made in hell: a coach who last year couldn’t do anything right, going to an organization that almost never does anything right.
In math, multiplying two negatives cancel out. Just like having a non-play calling coordinator was apparently something Rodgers must have liked in the past.
Was struggling to put my feelings into words, but this sums it up nicely!
HC last year not OC
This may be Hackett’s last chance as an NFL coach.
Good grief. I don’t think he’s as incompetent as he looked as head coach last year, but I didn’t think he was qualified for that role in the first place, other than the halo effect of LaFleur, Rodgers, and a famous coach for a father. It’s seemed increasingly clear that Mike LaFleur was a sacrificial fire at the behest of ownership. I don’t think Zach Wilson was his fault. Firing LaFleur only to replace him with 2022’s biggest coaching laughingstock isn’t a great look.
The Jets also fired their offensive line coach, not insignificant as linemen kept going down all season.
Want to know what’s not a great look? The Giants saying “we’ll keep Daniel Jones” while they get trolled by NYC’s other NFL team.
What? Trolled how?
Chucky posts weird nonsense critical of the Giants for some reason. Don’t bother reading too much into what he’s saying.
He was a terrible HC but seems like a solid OC, so I don’t hate it. Seems pretty clear Rodgers is a target, which I don’t mind.
After the Favre experience, I’m hesitant about Rodgers. If it costs multiple first rounders to acquire someone his age, I’m really hesitant.
For anyone who is not a Jets fan, this is a great hire. More inept coaching with the hopes of securing a nearly 40-year-old QB. What could go wrong?
Sherminator- Kinda tells me you don’t know what you’re talking about lol you’re clearly viewing Hackett as a head coach only and discounting his success as an OC to fit your narrative. Hiring Hackett doesn’t require bringing in Rodgers. Even if it did, the Jets defense is better than GB’s and the Jets have more weapons than GB.
His success comes from having a hall-of-fame QB leading the charge. He was mediocre at best in his other coordinator jobs.
It’s funny because people like having it both ways: Hackett was only good in GB because he had a HOF QB even though everyone says that HOF QB has been held back by not having enough weapons outside of Adams. Also, his GB tenure is pretty irrelevant– he didn’t call the plays.
Rather, Hackett did a good job with the 2014 Bills, led by Kyle Orton and EJ Manuel. He also helped the Jags O make the AFC championship game with Blake Bortles at the helm in 2017. He somehow got that offense to be 5th in PPG.
Agree on the multiple 1st rounders. I’m probably okay giving up this season’s 1st, though, as the draft looks like it’ll be mediocre at best. Rather have the for sure thing given how much young talent we’ve already compiled.
Fair, although a new tackle would be nice and should be available at 13.
Why would they hire Hackett to be OC? He’s the reason Bortles was terrible in Jacksonville. I kid I kid.
Ugh, typical Jets. “say let’s hire that guy who sucked at his last job, cause he’ll do a great job for us here!”.
Didn’t they learn from the whole Adam Gass experiment? And if they think that this will lead to getting Aaron Rogers, well once again I say, didn’t you learn from another former GB QB? Bret Favre?
Someone needs to ask Woody Johnson, “Woody, do you know the definition of insanity?”
Mike Lupica approves of what y’all are saying. That newspaperman hates the Jets because his favorite team is the Foxboro Cheatriots. Last I looked, New England missed the playoffs.
Giving up multiple high draft picks for a fading 40 year with malignant narcissistic personality disorder would be the most Jets’ move ever.
Watching the back covers of the NY Post and Daily News grind him into a pile of dust and tears would quite the dumpster fire. Epic rubbernecking.
I’m certainly no fan of Rodgers but when was the last time the NY Post or Daily News fielded an MVP in any sport?