Packers Assistant Top Candidate to Be Raiders’ Next HC

Nathaniel Hackett Raiders coach

Getty Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has been mentioned as a possible candidate to be the next Raiders head coach.

In light of the recent success of the Green Bay Packers, particularly on offense, it’s no surprise the team’s offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, is among those whose names are being tossed around as potential head coaching candidates in 2022.

Hackett came to Green Bay with head coach Matt LaFleur in 2019, and since he has been OC, the offense has improved each season. In his first year with the Packers, Aaron Rodgers and company managed 23.5 points and 345.5 total yards per game. Last season, Green Bay led the league in points per game (31.8), and finished fifth in total offense (389.0 yards per game). This year, the offense has seen its numbers drop slightly (24.0 ppg, 337.9 ypg), but the team is 5-1 and other than a Week 1 anomaly, (Green Bay is averaging 27.5 points since its loss to New Orleans in the season opener), and it has been impossible to beat.

With the Packers rolling heading towards the midway part of the season, Hackett’s name is coming up as a likely candidate to be the new head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders, of course, saw former head coach Jon Gruden resign after racist, sexist and homophobic language was found in his emails dating back to 2011. Special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia has been acting as interim coach, and he could likely stay on with Las Vegas, but if the Packers continue to look good on offense, expect Hackett’s name to be mentioned more and more.

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Hackett Dubbed Prime HC Candidate for Raiders

Top NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero listed Hackett among the top candidates to replace Gruden, and Bovada has him with the third-highest odds to be the next HC in Vegas, behind Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Bisaccia.

Hackett has been in the league since 2003, and he has been in the NFL off and on since 2006. There’s no guarantee the Raiders will even be interested in his services, but he does have an intriguing familial tie to the silver and black.

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What Does Hackett’s Resumé Look Like?

Even if Las Vegas isn’t interested in Hackett — and they very likely will be — other teams searching for new HCs should be looking his way. Hackett, who played linebacker at UC Davis, has an intriguing background, and his players seem to love him.

Here’s a look at his resumé:

  • UC Davis (2003), Assistant linebackers coach
  • Stanford (2003-2004), Offensive/defensive assistant to the coordinators
  • Stanford (2005), Specialists/recruiting coordinator
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006–2007), Offensive quality control
  • Buffalo Bills (2008–2009), Offensive quality control
  • Syracuse (2010), Passing game coordinator/Quarterbacks/tight ends coach
  • Syracuse (2011–2012), Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks/tight ends coach
  • Buffalo Bills (2013–2014), Offensive coordinator
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (2015–2016), Quarterbacks coach
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (2016–2018), Offensive coordinator
  • Green Bay Packers (2019–present), Offensive coordinator

There’s also an interesting tie to the Raiders in Hackett’s background. He is the son of Paul Hackett, who served as either quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and the then-Oakland Raiders, among other teams.

That’s no guarantee he’ll head to Vegas, but it’s an intriguing wrinkle.

Rodgers has also given his seal of approval in a big way. “It’s understanding that every player has different motivators and everybody can respond differently to coaching, and figuring out what those buttons are on certain people to push to get the most out of them,” the reigning MVP said about the way Hackett coaches, per The Washington Post. “That’s what he does really well. He disarms guys and makes them feel really comfortable, and then he’s really good at teaching the game. I would hate to lose him, but I do feel like he would be a fantastic head coach.”

Time will tell, but right now, Hackett’s name is one to watch once the 2021 season ends, particularly if the Raiders haven’t hired a full time replacement by then.

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