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The Jets Willingly Take On A Nathaniel Hackett Problem

Nathaniel Hackett stands on the sideline in sunglasses during a Broncos-Ravens game.
Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Why? Why is this man back in our lives so soon?

Nathaniel Hackett lasted 15 games with the Denver Broncos, becoming one of the shortest-tenured head coaches in NFL history, and he's already found a new job. Schefter must have acquired this scoop from Hackett's agent or parents, because those are the only people who would think this was a notable achievement for him. Top-five offense on a team with Blake Bortles! For his next trick, Hackett will try to fix Zach Wilson.

Of course, there's a good chance the Jets' starting quarterback for 2023 won't be Wilson, because he sucks. Head coach Robert Saleh said on Thursday that the team is "committed to finding a veteran." But what are the chances it'll be Aaron Rodgers? According to this article, he's "intrigued" by the team's roster—when you read the actual quote, it's Rodgers remarking that the Jets have a couple of talented players on offense. The rumor last offseason was that the Broncos hired Hackett, formerly the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator, because they thought it'd increase their chances of getting Rodgers, who was exploring other teams at the time. Instead, Denver ended up with the shell of Russell Wilson mixed in with a little of Brett Rypien. The result was a 5-12 season. Hackett personally went 4-11. The only thing this man needs right now is a gap year.

Do the Jets think they can get Rodgers to rework his contract, or that Hackett is an offensive whiz on his own? Either line of thinking is damning. When he was still employed by the Broncos, he gave up play-calling duties to Klint Kubiak in November. He lost frequent battles with the play clock and had to bring Jerry Rosburg out of retirement for help. The Broncos averaged 16.9 points per game this season, dead last in the NFL. For context, Hackett's new employer had 17.4 in the same category.

The Jets are not fazed by that minus-.5 downgrade, apparently. The likeliest explanation for willingly taking on an Adam Gase reboot is also the simplest: Saleh and Hackett worked together on the Jaguars a few years ago, and Saleh feels like he knows his true capabilities.

Yeah, sure. "A political war." The powers that be were forcing Nathaniel Hackett to commit those delay-of-game penalties.

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