According to sources with knowledge of Atlanta’s search, Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is someone they’re interested in interviewing.
The 40-year-old is in his second year with Green Bay and has a lot of success under his belt, so it makes sense as to why he would be on the Falcons’ radar.
Sources say Hackett’s name has come up several times inside the Falcons’ front office about the hiring process and whom to interview. While they still have a while until they find the perfect fit, Hackett has piqued interest and the team continues to research him.
Why Hackett Would Make Sense
The Pack is back. Under Hackett, Green Bay’s passing game is thriving in 2020 and Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level which is why Rich Mckay is eyeing him. Mckay, the Falcons’ president, is in control of owner Athur Blank’s coach and GM hunt.
Sources also say that Hackett would fit in well since he already has ties to several of McKay’s “confidants” who are still on the Falcons’ staff.
In 2006, Hackett broke into the NFL as Tampa Bay’s quality control coach. His father Paul Hackett also worked on Jon Gruden’s staff. Mckay as a key part of the Bucs’ front office at the time who happened to trade Gruden from the Raiders.
From there, Hackett went onto becoming one of the youngest coordinators in the NFL when he ran the Bills offense for Doug Marrone in 2013. He also worked on Marrone’s staff in Jacksonville from 2015-18 before making his way to Green Bay when Matt LaFleur was hired.
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LaFluer’s Connection to Atlanta
Before becoming the head coach for the Packers, LaFleur was in Atlanta as Matt Ryan’s quarterback coach under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. He spent 2015 and part of 2016 with the Falcons.
In that time span, Ryan was named MVP and the Falcons reached the Super Bowl in Shanahan’s second year there. The team has been struggling to get back to that level of offensive performance since then.
As for the Packers, they reached the playoffs in 2019, Hackett’s first year there. They’re also set to return again this year.
Chiefs coordinator Eric Bieniemy is also one of the candidates that the Falcons are interested in, sources say.
Falcons Interim Has Bigger Plans
To fill Quinn’s shoes, for the time being, McKay and Blank decided to name Raheem Morris the interim head coach. Morris moved up from the defensive coordinator position.
While he’s been happy to step up, he’s not focused on being interim coach, he’s focus on something bigger more permanent.
Falcons’ insider William McFadden shared what Morris told the local media heading into Week 6 when Atlanta claimed their first win of the season over Vikings:
“Raheem Morris says if his focus was on being the interim head coach, he wouldn’t be in the right mindset needed for this moment. He’s focused on being the head coach of the team and leading the Falcons to a 1-0 record each week.”
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