Former Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett Meeting with AFC Team: Report

Nathaniel Hackett

Getty Former Denver Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett talking with a coach from the Minnesota Vikings before a game.

Less than one month after the Denver Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett, the former head coach is back in the headlines and is ready to get back to coaching.

According to Dianna Russini of ESPN, the New York Jets are meeting with Hackett for their offensive coordinator position.

This move comes after the Jets mutually agreed to part ways with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur on January 11.

LaFleur had spent the last two seasons with New York after he was hired by Jets head coach Robert Saleh after the two were on the same coaching staff with the San Francisco 49ers.

Per Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets were interested in Miami Dolphins quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell to be the offensive coordinator, but he told the Jets that he was not interested. This forced New York to move their focus to Hackett.

The hope is that Hackett could potentially improve the Jets’ 29th ranked scoring offense in 2022.

Hackett is also the son of legendary coach Paul Hackett, who was the Jets’ offensive coordinator under Herm Edwards from 2001-04.

There’s even a history between Hackett and Saleh after the two worked together with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015-16, when Saleh coached the linebackers and Hackett was the quarterbacks coach.

Hackett’s Time in Denver Was Not Great

Hackett was hired by the Broncos on January 27, 2022 and brought a sense of excitement to the building being known as a “players coach.”

While many people considered Hackett for his offensive expertise, his results on the field did meet the standard of the Broncos.

Under Hackett, the Denver offense has ranked 32nd in the NFL in points scored for nearly the entire season. There has never been an offense in franchise history to finish dead last in the league in scoring.

In the 15 games that Hackett coached this season, Denver only scored more than 20 points four times.

There were mistakes all season long that came from Hackett and this coaching staff. From mismanaging games and forcing kicker Brandon McManus to attempt a game-winning 64-yard field goal to players fighting on the sideline and on the field after the game against the Rams. It was clear that the Broncos didn’t have the right person leading the way.

Hackett’s firing makes him the fifth head coach since the merger in 1970 to not make it through his first season.

Russell Wilson’s Numbers Went Up After Hackett’s Fire

When Hackett was hired by the Broncos, there was hope that his west coast offense would mix well with the kind of offense that quarterback Russell Wilson wanted to run.

Instead, that wasn’t the case.

Wilson’s passing numbers hit career lows forcing people to wonder if the Broncos made not only a mistake for hiring Hackett, but for trading for Wilson.

During the 13 games that Wilson played under Hackett, the former Super Bowl winning quarterback completed a career low, 60 percent of his passes for an average of just 232.2 yards per game.

Wilson threw just 12 touchdowns in those 13 games and had only two multi-touchdown games. The former Seahawk gun-slinger was intercepted nine times.

Once Denver fired Hackett, interim head coach, Jerry Rosburg gave the play calling duties to offensive coordinator Justin Outten and Wilson’s numbers went up.

In the final two games of the season, Wilson completed nearly 63 percent of his passes for an average of 252.5 passing yards per game.

Wilson also threw four touchdowns including three in the final game against the Los Angeles Chargers and his passer rating jumped from 82.6 to 96.5.

With the season ending with Wilson playing well, there was proof that after all the injuries, getting to a more creative play caller, and an improved offensive line, there is hope that Wilson can play like he did in Seattle.