EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After reportedly interviewing 15 people, the New York Jets found the man to be their next offensive coordinator in Nathaniel Hackett.
Hackett comes to New York after his first foray into head coaching went about as poorly as it could. The 43-year-old lost his job as Denver's head coach after just 15 games, posting a 4-11 record thanks in part to a career-worst season from quarterback Russell Wilson.
Prior to his stint in Denver, Hackett served as the offensive coordinator for the Packers from 2019-2021. Green Bay won 13 games in each of those three seasons, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers picking up MVP trophies the latter two years.
During Hackett's tenure in Green Bay, the Packers were fifth in the NFL in scoring at 27.2 points per game. They were 14th the previous year, and 14th again last season after his departure.
All that is enough to be confident in the decision by head coach Robert Saleh, but the big question surrounding Hackett's hiring is if he can help sway Rodgers - who is considering asking for a trade out of Green Bay - to pack up and move to the bright lights of New York and join the Jets.
Locked on Jets host John Butchko believes the Jets brought Hackett in in part to attract Rodgers to the Big Apple - he just isn't sure it's the right move.
After all, hiring Hackett as a way to entice Rodgers to join your team is a strategy that failed the last time a team tried it.
"All I have to do is take you back one year," Butchko said. "Because when the Broncos hired Hackett that's exactly what people said, they must be getting Aaron Rodgers now. And it did not work out."
Denver didn't get Rodgers, they traded for Wilson instead, and things went terribly for all parties involved. Could history repeat itself in 2023 with the Jets?
A repeat situation in New York would be devastating for the Jets, but even acquiring Rodgers isn't a guarantee things are suddenly going to turn around for Saleh's club.
"This is a situation where I see what they are trying to do, I'm just not sure it's a great idea," Butchko continued. "Even in a world where the Jets are trading for Aaron Rodgers, do you think Nathaniel Hackett is going to be the thing that makes or breaks [the season]?"
Rodgers and Hackett were no doubt a dynamic duo in Green Bay, but the 39-year-old threw for 3,695 yards last year with the Packers - his lowest full season total since 2015 - while throwing 12 interceptions, the second highest mark of his career.
Hackett has the track record to be a solid offensive coordinator, and his previous working relationship with head coach Robert Saleh make this an ideal pairing.
However, this move certainly doesn't guarantee Rodgers will be wearing green and white next year, and even if he is, the version of Rodgers that won back-to-back MVP awards may not be what Jets fans see on the field in 2023.