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Highly-Criticized Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett Receives Key Endorsement

Head coach Robert Saleh publicly supports New York's offensive play caller amidst struggles

Those New York Jets' fans calling for Nathaniel Hackett's job were served a dose of reality on Wednesday.

Third-year head coach Robert Saleh delivered a public endorsement of the Jets' offensive coordinator while answering questions from reporters in Florham Park.

"I’ve got a lot of faith in him. When you look at, and it’s going to be hard for people to recognize it but starting with the Atlanta game, through tape, seen a lot of improvement," said Saleh. "I do feel like we’ve gotten better, especially over this last half of the season. We’ve got a chance to finish strong."

Hackett has been a target of fan criticism for the team's lack of offensive production. The Jets rank next-to-last amongst NFL clubs in total offense (269.5 ypg) and 29th in scoring offense (15.7 ppg).

It should be noted that the plan was never for Hackett's offense to feature four different starting quarterbacks this season. It was all about reuniting Hackett with future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. With that pairing together in Green Bay for three years (2019-21), the Packers averaged 13 wins per season and Rodgers secured two NFL MVP awards (2020, 2021).

After Rodgers went down four offensive snaps into the 2023 opener, Zach Wilson was thrusted back into the hot seat. With Wilson slumping, Tim Boyle took over for two starts before being released. Wilson bounced back from his benching, but has since suffered a concussion. As a result, veteran Trevor Siemian will make his third start in a row when the Jets visit the New England Patriots for the regular season finale on January 7.

Jets' quarterbacks have combined for 11 touchdown passes through 16 games this season. With Hackett as his offensive coordinator, Rodgers averaged 37 TD passes per year.

"There’s been a lot of adaptation over the last half of the year with all the motions, and all the screens, and all the gadget plays," said Saleh on Wednesday. 

New York has hit the 30-point mark twice in its past four games, but has still struggled to pass the ball effectively. Siemian is averaging 4.9 yards per attempt as Hackett has been forced to adapt a playoff that was initially meant for Rodgers. 

"I just got a lot of confidence in the way he relates to people, communicates with people, the energy that he’s kept throughout the season, despite all the adversity. I do have a lot of faith in him," said Saleh.


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