The Jacksonville Jaguars planned to interview Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett a second time on Thursday. Now, they won't get that chance.
According to multiple reports and first reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Hackett has accepted an offer to be the next head coach of the Denver Broncos, replacing Vic Fangio and effectively throwing a curveball at the Jaguars.
To date, the Jaguars have held second interviews with just two candidates: Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who is widely considered to be the favorite to land the job.
The Jaguars had evidently planned to make Hackett their third coach to have a second interview as the former Jacksonville offensive coordinator clearly made the team's shortlist. But instead, the Broncos have a new head coach and the Jaguars are left to pick up the pieces.
This, of course, doesn't mean the Jaguars aren't getting their first choice. It does mean, however, that the optics of their search has taken a hit after momentum had built for Leftwich before stalling via media reports and confirmation of Hackett's interview on Wednesday evening.
"The development, along with potentially holding more second interviews with head coaching candidates, comes after the Jaguars launched contract talks with Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich Tuesday night before discussions became complicated Wednesday morning and momentum toward an anticipated deal stalled," Pro Football Network's Aaron Wilson reported on Wednesday.
Hackett spent two years as the Jaguars' quarterbacks coach and was eventually promoted to interim offensive coordinator at the end of the 2016 season, later being promoted to full-time coordinator when Marrone was named head coach after the 2016 season.
Hackett was instrumental in the Jaguars' offensive success in 2017, with the Jaguars finishing with a 10-6 record and the No. 15 DVOA offense despite a lack of weapons and a below-average quarterback at the helm. Hackett and the Jaguars failed to replicate the success in 2018, however, leading to Hackett's in-season firing.
Hackett was able to quickly find work elsewhere, however, being named offensive coordinator of the Packers under new head coach Matt LaFleur in 2019 and earning the respect of Aaron Rodgers, propelling him into head coach conversations.
The Jaguars will now not have a chance to have Hackett lead their franchise, however, as the Broncos evidently made a full-court press to make an agreement with Hackett official to ensure they didn't lose their guy following news of him getting another interview with the Jaguars.