Nathaniel Hackett is rejoining the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff as offensive coordinator, once again serving in that capacity under head coach Doug Marrone.
The new Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff is being rounded out with Nathaniel Hackett joining Doug Marrone and Todd Wash as returning coaches in the new regime. Hackett’s work with the team began in 2015 as the Jags quarterbacks coach but he quickly rose to interim offensive coordinator when Greg Olson’s offense flopped.
Hackett has his work cut out for him. He will need to vastly improve a running game and salvage a quarterback if the Jags are to become relevant again on offense. If he does it, he may be hailed as one of the best coordinators in Jags history. If he fails it may be written off as a foolish continuation of a poor strategy from the Gus Bradley era.
The limited work Hackett performed in 2016 as offensive coordinator is moderately promising. Some cherry picked stats courtesy of the official Jags announcement include:
"The jaguars improved their rankings under Hackett this past season in several categories including: time of possession (30th to 13th), goal-to-go efficiency (15th to fourth) and red-zone efficiency (16th to fifth). The Jaguars rushing attack also improved under Hackett from 30th in yards (72.6) to fifth (124.8) in rushing yards per game, 26th (3.79) to 13th (4.35) in yards per rush and from 32nd (38) to first (112) in rushes of four-plus yards."
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Those numbers are promising if not inspiring for a team that was a bonafide offensive sensation in 2015 but fell on its face early in 2016. If Hackett can get the offense back to 2015 form and put 2016 behind, he will be doing amazing work. The offense regressed last season rather than taking a predicted step forward.
Hackett is a respected coach in the NFL but the 37-year old man is still growing into his role. With just two other seasons under his belt as an offensive coordinator (2013 and 2014 under Marrone with the Buffalo Bills) there may be some growing pains as he takes over. That isn’t unexpected but it also could spell trouble for the new regime. The Jags need to rebound quickly in 2017 or risk starting over once again.