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Packers Must Replace Hackett as Offensive Coordinator

Luke Getsy has led Aaron Rodgers to a pair of MVP-worthy seasons while Adam Stenavich overcame a never-ending cycle of change on the offensive line.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur must replace offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who has been hired to be the 16th full-time head coach in Denver Broncos history.

Having coordinated offenses led by Aaron Rodgers as well as Blake Bortles to conference championship games, the decision certainly didn’t catch LaFleur off-guard.

“I just told him to, ‘Hey, man, just go be yourself,’” LaFleur said on Monday of Hackett having a second interview this week. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in him, not only as a football coach but as a man and as a leader. We do have a plan in place in terms of if he were to get one of these.”

That plan will almost certainly begin and end with a pair of internal candidates, quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator Luke Getsy and offensive line coach and running-game coordinator Adam Stenavich.

Getsy originally joined Mike McCarthy’s staff in 2014 as a quality control coach before being promoted to receivers coach in 2016. In 2018, he went to Mississippi State as offensive coordinator and receivers coach before returning to Green Bay in 2019 as quarterbacks coach for LaFleur. He was promoted to passing-game coordinator in 2020.

In 2020, Aaron Rodgers won his third MVP and first since 2014 by becoming just the second quarterback since 1940 to lead the NFL in completion percentage, touchdown percentage and interception percentage. In 2021, Rodgers seems destined to win his fourth MVP despite a barrage of injuries on offense.

The Broncos interviewed him as part of their coaching search. If Getsy is Denver’s No. 1 choice as coordinator, could the future of Rodgers be the tipping point in his decision to stay or go?

“I think Luke’s done an outstanding job,” LaFleur said recently. “He’s an excellent communicator, great teacher, great team guy. I think he sees the game the right way. He’s got such a great presence about him. Players respond to him, so it’s a great opportunity for him. Another guy we would hate to lose, but would be happy for him and his family if he gets that opp.”

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“Do I think he’s ready? I think absolutely. I think he’s done a great job. I think he’s a great communicator. He’s got great command. I think people believe in him. He’s genuine. He’s a good person. He cares about people. He’s got all the qualities that you look for, I think, when you think about a leader.”

A former college quarterback, Getsy sees the game through that position’s eyes but also has experience coaching receivers.

“One of the unsung heroes is Coach Getsy,” receiver Davante Adams said in December of his ascension to All-Pro. “Luke Getsy is a coach who I really, really enjoyed having.”

Also part of LaFleur’s first staff, Stenavich replaced the beloved James Campen as offensive line coach. It was a tough spot to be in – Stenavich spent time on Green Bay’s practice squad in 2006 but had never led an O-line room – but he won over the team’s veteran offensive linemen. The Packers led the NFL in scoring with a superb line featuring two All-Pros (David Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley) and a Pro Bowler (Elgton Jenkins).

He was given the added title of run-game coordinator for this season, when he had to navigate around a series of challenges. Linsley left in free agency, Bakhtiari missed the first 16 games and Jenkins missed nine. Plus, rookie center Josh Myers missed 11 games and Billy Turner missed four. Moreover, the leaders in snaps were rookie Royce Newman and first-time starter Jon Runyan. Notably, the Packers led the NFL in third-and-1 success and generally gave Rodgers quality protection. He was named the NFL’s best position coach.

“I think he’s been outstanding,” LaFleur said. “He’s got such a great rapport with those guys in the room. Certainly, you never quite know when it’s a guy’s first opportunity. We are lucky to have a guy of his caliber. He loves what he does and he does such a great job for us, from coordinating the run game and getting our guys to go out there and perform on a consistent basis. When you have so much turnover in that room and you don’t get that continuity with the same five going out there, that is a big-time challenge. It’s a credit to our players but also a credit to him and (assistant line coach Luke) Butkus to allow our offense to still be able to function at a high level and get production.”

The Broncos reportedly want to interview him for their coordinator post.

“I was actually talking to Dave about that,” Patrick said last month of going from Campen to Stenavich. “As a young player coming in with Campy and the veterans we had in the room, and then going into Steno and some of the assistants we’ve had along the way with Jeff Blasko and now with Butkus, I don’t know if my career would be the same without those men. Just so fortunate to have great technicians teaching me and the understanding of football, but more importantly really good men who actually care about me as a person to the things to make sure I’m feeling good on and off the field.”