The Jets continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new offensive coordinator, reportedly conducting an interview with former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett following sit-downs with Eagles assistants Kevin Patullo and Marcus Brady last week. Other rumored candidates include Frank Reich (who recently interviewed for the Panthers’ head-coaching position) and Dolphins pass-game coordinator Darrell Bevell, the latter a former colleague of Robert Saleh, previously winning a Super Bowl together in Seattle.
Hackett has a history with the Jets, who employed his father, Paul, as offensive coordinator from 2001-04. Seen as an up-and-comer with a bright NFL future, Hackett failed spectacularly in his first head-coaching stint, guiding Denver to an abysmal 4-11 record before his ouster on December 26th, hours after getting routed by the Rams in a 51-14 blowout.
Hackett has frequently collaborated with Doug Marrone, serving on his staffs at Syracuse, Jacksonville and Buffalo. Prior to his ascension to Broncos head coach, the 43-year-old was lauded for his work as Packers offensive coordinator, serving, ironically enough, under coach Matt LaFleur. LaFleur, of course, is the older brother of Mike LaFleur, who Hackett would be replacing in New York.
Hackett will probably have to prove himself as a coordinator before he lands another head-coaching gig, rebuilding his reputation as a play-caller and offensive tactician after struggling mightily with Denver, proving overmatched as a decision-maker while squandering Russell Wilson’s athletic gifts in a bland, predictable scheme.
The Jets, for most of 2022, looked poised to break their 12-year playoff drought, though their early success was undone by a catastrophic second half, ending the season on a six-game losing streak. Plagued by poor quarterback play, the Jets will have a difficult decision to make this offseason, weighing whether to stay the course with former second overall pick Zach Wilson or pull the plug on what has so far been a failed experiment by bringing in a proven vet like Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr.
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