GREEN BAY – Just a few days after retaining Mike Pettine to be his defensive coordinator, new Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur has hired an offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett. The Packers made the announcement on Wednesday.
Here are five things to know about Hackett:
1. His Jaguars offense in 2017 was one of the best in the league.
Promoted from QB coach to offensive coordinator in Jacksonville during the 2016 season, Hackett had the reins from the start in 2017 and directed one of the league’s best attacks under head coach Doug Marrone. As the Jaguars advanced all the way to the AFC title game, they ranked fifth in the league in points and sixth in yards, including first in rushing yards (a first in franchise history) behind rookie RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft. Hackett was then let go midseason in 2018 as the offense didn’t return to that level, mainly due to the struggles of QB Blake Bortles.
2. He got the most out of Bortles in prior years.
As Bortles’ QB coach in 2015, Hackett helped the former first-round draft pick set single-season franchise records for passing TDs (35), passing yards (4,428), and completions (355), including 72 completions of 20-plus yards. Bortles’ 35 TD passes made him just the third NFL QB age 23 or younger to throw for that many scores in a single season, joining Miami’s Dan Marino (48 in 1984) and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (41 in 2011). In 2017, Bortles hit the 60-percent completion mark for the first time and was sacked a career-low 24 times.
3. Green Bay will be the third NFL team and fourth team overall for whom he’s run an offense.
Prior to his stint in Jacksonville, Hackett served as offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills for two years (2013-14) and for the University of Syracuse (2011-12) before that, both under Marrone. During his first year in Buffalo, the Bills ranked second in the league in rushing, led by the backfield tandem of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.
Hackett comes to Green Bay after spending the majority of the last four seasons in Jacksonville.
4. The first decade of his coaching career shifted back and forth between the college and NFL ranks.
Hackett actually started his coaching career on the defensive side of the ball as an assistant linebackers coach at the University of California-Davis in 2003. He then switched to the offensive side at Stanford before breaking into the NFL as an offensive quality control coach with Tampa Bay in 2006-07. Two years in the same position with Buffalo (2008-09) preceded his tenure at Syracuse, where he coached QBs and tight ends before taking over the offense.
5. Football is in his blood.
Hackett is the son of longtime NFL and college coach Paul Hackett, for whom Mike McCarthy worked when the former Packers head coach got his first Division I college coaching job with the University of Pittsburgh. The elder Hackett, who also brought McCarthy with him to Kansas City in the NFL, has had four other college or NFL head coaches work under him as assistants: Dave Doeren, Chris Petersen, Hue Jackson and Jon Gruden. Both Hacketts began their coaching careers at UC-Davis, where the elder Hackett played QB in the late 1960s.