Nathaniel Hackett’s recent hiring as the 18th head coach in Denver Broncos history only emphasizes just how quickly one key front-office move can trigger a league-wide domino effect. GM George Paton’s Cobra Kai-type strike on the NFL assistant coaching ranks has seen the Broncos lead the way in this year's hiring cycle.
The Hackett hire has also served to light a fire beneath the ever-growing Aaron Rodgers rumor mill. Offseason speculation will always gain some media traction, but it would appear that Rodgers has long been dropping considerable hints that he may move on if the circumstances suited him.
All the way back in November, Rodgers answered a question posed by Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal in which he gave his then-offensive coordinator Hackett some serious props and a whole lot more. Complete with a telling smirk, Rodgers made it clear he would like to continue hitching his wagon to Hackett, wherever he might land as a coach.
“’Hack’ has been a really important part of our culture change,” Rodgers said back on November 11. “And a part of our success on offense. I love him. I hope he doesn’t go anywhere… Unless I do.”
What made Hackett such a fit for Paton as Broncos head coach also suits Rodgers it would appear. Finding some joy in his working relationships must also be pretty high up on Rodgers' list of priorities as he enters the back-nine of his career in hopes of expanding on his legacy.
“Yeah, I mean that’s the number one thing," Rodgers said. "There’s nobody in the building that brings me more joy, or is more fun to be around than Nathaniel Hackett.”
Judging by Rodgers' growing personal friendship with Hackett, the deep-rooted bonds between the pair makes their potential reunion very tantalizing indeed.
“He’s become such a close confidant and friend, besides a fantastic coach,” Rodgers continued. “And I just really, really can’t express enough how important he is to our team in so many ways. He’s incredible in front of a room, he brings a lot of great energy that’s really important to not just meetings that can sometimes, without the energy, the energy he infuses, maybe get long at times. [It] never feels like that way with him in front of the room.”
Raising the energy levels worked for Rodgers over the last three years in Green Bay, but for any new partnership to work, it would require both parties to commit to the potential deal. Rodgers-to-Denver is made considerably more difficult when you factor in the quarterback remains under contract with the Broncos
Rodgers has always been a catalyst for big things to happen throughout his storied career which will end up inevitably in Canton, OH. But, for now, he might opt not to retire if he believes joining Hackett in Denver would give him the motivation to keep playing in his late-30s.
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.
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