Nathaniel Hackett named New York Jets’ offensive coordinator


Nathaniel Hackett was not out of work for long.

The former Broncos head coach on Thursday was named the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator, the team announced, exactly a month after he was fired by Denver 15 games into his first head coaching job.

Hackett oversaw a Broncos offense that finished last in the NFL in scoring and a franchise that started 2-1 but then lost nine of 10 overall and was sitting at 4-11 when he was fired. His firing came one day after a 51-14 blowout loss on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Rams.

“The thing about Nathaniel is no matter how tough the times were, he stayed the course, and he kept our team together,” said general manager George Paton, who led the process that led to Hackett’s hiring, the day after he was fired. “When you lose eight one-score games and you’re out of the playoffs, it’s hard to keep your team together. These guys fought for Nathaniel. That’s a credit to him, and that’s a credit to his staff.”

Hackett has been a successful offensive coordinator before, both in non-play calling roles – like the three years in Green Bay before the Broncos hired him – and with the play sheet in his hand, from 2016-18 in Jacksonville.

In New York, he’ll be back in a familiar coaching circle. There, he’ll work for head coach Robert Saleh, whom he worked with in 2015-16 in Jacksonville. Saleh is also a close friend of Hackett’s former boss, Packers coach Matt LaFleur, and Hackett now is replacing LaFleur’s younger brother, Mike.

Like his hire a year ago to the Broncos, Hackett’s arrival in New York will create considerable interest in whether it makes the Jets a possible destination for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers’ future Hall of Famer has not yet decided if he wants to play in 2023, but if he does – and if Green Bay decides to move forward with Jordan Love – Rodgers will have a say in where he gets traded.

That may sound familiar to Broncos fans.

Outside of the quarterback room, though, the Jets have a good set of skill talent, including a standout rookie receiver in Garrett Wilson and a running back in Breece Hall who was putting together a terrific first year before he tore his ACL in Week 7 against the Broncos.

One other subplot: The Jets visit Denver again in 2023, meaning Hackett will return to Empower Field with a new team.

RB coach Wheatley lands college job. Hackett wasn’t the only 2022 Broncos coach to land a new job on Thursday. Former running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley was named the head coach at Wayne State University, a Division II school in Michigan.


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