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Pros and Cons of Jets Hiring Nathaniel Hackett as Offensive Coordinator

New York named ex-Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett as the team's new offensive coordinator on Thursday, sparking more Aaron Rodgers trade rumors.
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The Jets hired a new offensive coordinator on Thursday morning, a decision rooted in experience and familiarity. It's a move that also brings plenty of speculation when it comes to the quarterback position. 

Former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett will replace Mike LaFleur as New York's offensive coordinator in 2023. The 43-year-old didn't last a full season in Denver—fired after 15 games—but he's amassed quite a bit of experience as a coordinator over the last decade, spending multiple seasons as OC in Buffalo, Jacksonville and Green Bay.

The Jets interviewed a wide range of candidates to fill in for LaFleur, who departed this offseason to pursue other opportunities. Head coach Robert Saleh went with the veteran that has extensive playcalling experience. 

Hackett's best example of success while calling plays was with the Jaguars. With Blake Bortles at quarterback, Jacksonville advanced all the way to the AFC Championship Game in 2017. That season, the Jaguars led the league in rushing yards per game, a sign of what Hackett is capable of and what the Jets need in 2023 after a miserable campaign on offense (especially after rookie Breece Hall suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 7).

Speaking of the Jaguars, Saleh is familiar with Hackett from their time working together on that team's coaching staff. Hackett was Jacksonville's quarterbacks coach in 2015, one year after Saleh started his three-year stint as the Jaguars linebackers coach. After two seasons together, Hackett was promoted to OC while Saleh left to serve as the defensive coordinator with the 49ers

That history can go a long way in New York. Saleh has already witnessed Hackett's ability to connect with players firsthand, a trust and familiarity that's poised to bring the best out of this high-upside offense right away. 

Hackett's history with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers—who could be traded this offseason—is another obvious perk from this hire. 

Hackett was the offensive coordinator in Green Bay for three seasons, establishing a close relationship with Rodgers. Other teams will be vying to acquire the future Hall of Fame quarterback if Green Bay does actually move him, so Hackett's presence with the Jets can't be ignored. 

The biggest red flag that Hackett carries into his new role is what happened in Denver last year. 

Hackett's first season as a head coach in the NFL was disastrous. He was fired after a 4-11 start and at the end of the season, the Broncos had the worst scoring offense in the league. Veteran quarterback Russell Wilson struggled. Eventually, Hackett relinquished his own playcalling duties, handing them over to offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak (who also interviewed for the Jets OC job).  


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