BRONCOS

Former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett on hot seat in New York?

May 13, 2024, 1:22 PM | Updated: 1:31 pm

For a second-straight year, Nathaniel Hackett and the Denver Broncos will collide. The date will be known Wednesday when the NFL officially releases its 2024 schedule.

But will Hackett, the Broncos’ former head coach, be calling plays for the New York Jets when that game day arises?

The Jets didn’t move on from Nathaniel Hackett, but according to reporter Conor Hughes of SNY, they made “legitimate attempts” to find someone to place above Nathaniel Hackett and “run the show” on offense.

That desire reveals “legitimate concerns with Hackett’s ability to successfully run things,” Hughes wrote.

The Jets offense broke down last year in the wake of Aaron Rodgers suffering a torn Achilles tendon early in a Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills. They went back to 2021 No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson — now one of the Broncos’ three quarterbacks after a trade days before the NFL Draft.

New York ranked 31st in total offense, 31st in yardage per play and dead last in first downs generated last season. At one point, Hackett and Jets head coach Robert Saleh benched Wilson for Tim Boyle, only to re-insert Wilson when Boyle fared considerably worse. Former Broncos starter Trevor Siemian started the final three games of the campaign.

Rodgers is now back for the Jets. And that may be all that is keeping Hackett in the job, given the relationship established between the two during three years together with the Green Bay Packers — two of which saw Rodgers earn NFL MVP honors.

Of course, Hackett didn’t call plays for the Packers in those seasons. Head coach Matt LaFleur did. Hackett handled play-calling for nine of his 15 games as Broncos head coach before ceding the reins to then-pass-game-coordinator Klint Kubiak, bypassing the offensive coordinator on the staff, Justin Outten.

Outten is now the tight-ends coach in Tennessee.

Wrote Hughes of the Hackett-Rodgers connection:

“It almost feels like the Jets are putting so much faith in Rodgers’ ability to correct Hackett’s wrongdoings. Sources spoke of many, many times last summer where Hackett called a play, then Rodgers changed it completely at the line. They figure he can do the same come the regular season. That’s a lot to put on the plate of a player, though – even one of Rodgers’ stature. This isn’t the NBA.”

Rodgers may be all that separates Hackett from washing out as a play caller. And if the Jets struggle, that doesn’t augur well for Hackett’s short- and long-term outlook as a coach in the NFL.

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