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Who is Nathaniel Hackett?  New Broncos head coach has ties to Packers Aaron Rodgers

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Who is Nathaniel Hackett? New Broncos head coach has ties to Packers Aaron Rodgers

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The first domino in the 2022 NFL coaching carousel fell Thursday morning when the Broncos agreed to hire Nathaniel Hackett as their new coach.

Hackett was scheduled to do a second interview with the Jaguars for their coaching job. The Broncos didn’t want to risk losing him, so they instead hired Hackett after his second interview with the team. He becomes the Broncos’ fourth different coach since the 2016 season, and he will replace Vic Fangio, who was fired after three seasons at the helm in Denver.

Hackett will be looking to lead Denver to the playoffs for the first time since 2015, when Peyton Manning was still the team’s quarterback. His skill set differs from the team’s last two head coaching hires, as Fangio and Vance Joseph were both defensive-minded coaches while Hackett’s experience is on the attacking side of the ball.

Here’s everything you need to know about Hackett and his history of developing quarterbacks at the NFL level.

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Who is Nathaniel Hackett?

Hackett, 42, is an offensive-minded young coach with 13 years of NFL experience under his belt. He grew up around football as the son of former Chiefs, Jets and USC offensive coordinator Paul Hackett. During the 1990s, he served as a ball boy for the Chiefs.

Young Hackett attended UC Davis, where he majored in neurobiology, physiology and behaviors and taught a hip-hop class, as Peter Schrager detailed on “Good Morning Football” after Hackett was hired.

Hackett began his coaching career as an offensive quality control coach with the Buccaneers in 2006. He spent four years in that role with the Buccaneers and Bills before trying his hand at college play.

From 2010 to 2012, Hackett coached at Syracuse under Doug Marrone. He became Syracuse’s offensive coordinator and helped turn quarterback Ryan Nassib into a fourth-round pick.

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Hackett returned to the NFL when Marrone was hired as head coach of the Bills in 2013. He was hired as Buffalo’s offensive coordinator and spent eight of the next nine years in a coordinating role for three teams – the Bills, Jaguars and Packers. .

Hackett coached three of the top 10 offenses in his eight years as coordinator. More importantly, he helped improve the quarterback’s game with each of his saves. At Buffalo, he made Kyle Orton look like a capable passer. In Jacksonville, he helped Blake Bortles put together his best season in 2017 and was part of the staff that took Jacksonville just a few games away from the Super Bowl.

And, of course, in Green Bay, Hackett helped lead Aaron Rodgers to a mini career resurgence. He won MVP for the 2020 NFL season and is favored to do so again for the 2021 season.

Hackett will now be tasked with helping Denver figure out their quarterback situation, which has been a revolving door since Manning retired after Super Bowl 50.

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What Aaron Rodgers Said About Nathaniel Hackett

Broncos fans will be happy to know that Hackett comes with Rodgers’ endorsement. The veteran quarterback praised Hackett’s coaching skills during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show in mid-January, as Hackett became a candidate for several coaching positions.

“It’s a bit late, to be honest,” Rodgers said of Hackett writing interview applications for coaching jobs. “He’s been in the game for a long time. What he did in Jacksonville, I think, was pure magic, get them within a quarter of the Super Bowl. He’s a great coach. I love passing time with him. He’s a fantastic teacher. He’s amazing in front of the room.”

This confirms what Rodgers previously said about Hackett in October. He told The Washington Post that Hackett gave “legendary” presentations that helped Rodgers and the Packers stay engaged during the week.

“He finds ways every week to come up with new and interesting ideas,” Rodgers said. “He has an infectious energy. He is hilarious.

Rodgers has been direct and outspoken throughout the 2021 NFL season. As such, his endorsement of Hackett certainly carries weight as Hackett looks to connect with Broncos players.

Who is Nathaniel Hackett? New Broncos head coach has ties to Packers Aaron Rodgers

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