On the heels of the Jaguars division title and now back to back playoff wins, there’s a natural increase in positive attention for not only the players, but for coach Doug Marrone and staff, as well.
To that end, with five NFL head coach openings as of Monday afternoon, we at F.F.I. wonder if Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett isn’t about to be part of the coaching carousel.
Specifically, with the Titans firing Mike Mularkey on Monday, even after making the playoffs and winning a Wildcard game, there are now two AFC South teams that are looking for head coaches. And Hackett, who’s been in Jacksonville for the last three seasons, is obviously familiar with both situations in Nashville and Indianapolis.
Oh, and his specialty is working with quarterbacks (like Blake Bortles the last three years) and, both the Titans and the Colts have high profile former first round pick QBs that make those almost ideal situations for an offensive minded coach.
Hackett is the son of former college head coach and NFL offensive coordinator Paul Hackett, and has pedigree, as an offensive coordinator with Marrone previously at Syracuse and then for two years with the Bills (photo). So, he’s obviously got a track record and a lot of experience.
At 39 years of age, he fits the mold of young, up and coming offensive mind being brought in to help the young star. Look no further than what the L.A. Rams did hiring 31 year old Sean McVay last year at this time.
McVay, who had much less experience overall than Hackett does now, quickly installed a scheme that better prepared and suited second year QB (and former #1 overall pick) Jared Goff. Goff had a fantastically improved 2017, where the Rams won the division and led the NFL in scoring.
The tricky part for Hackett or for Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, or any other coach still involved in active playoff games, is they cannot talk to the Titans this week.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network did have this interesting nugget regarding coaching candidates on who are part of the four remaining playoff teams:
By rule: The #Titans only window to interview coaches still in the playoffs is Jan. 28. They can speak on this date with assistants whose teams are still alive, provided they previously interviewed with other clubs.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 15, 2018
It’s not known if Hackett, or his representatives have had any meaningful discussions with any of the teams with openings. Those, by the way, include the Lions (Matt Stafford), the Giants (Eli Manning) and the Cardinals (QB situation up in the air), too.
But with Indy and now Tennessee both open, and the way the Jaguars repeatedly moved the ball and piled up points on the Steelers Sunday, you have to think that he is a name that gets considered.
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