Should the Green Bay Packers bring back former offensive coordinator and recently-fired head coach of the Denver Broncos in Nathaniel Hackett. Here are the pros and cons of a reunion.
Last offseason, the Green Bay Packers experienced turnover not just on the roaster, but also on Matt LaFleur’s coaching staff. One of the big departures was then-offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was hired by the Denver Broncos to be their next head coach. Given the success he had running offenses in the NFL, the expectation was that he could take the Broncos to the next level, especially with quarterback Russell Wilson.
Instead, Denver is the lowest scoring offense in the entire league after Week 16 (15.5 points per game). Then, the team suffered an embarrassing 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day, which was not only a blowout, but saw offensive lineman Dalton Risner shoving backup quarterback Brett Rypien on the sidelines and linebacker Randy Gregory throwing punches after the game.
With a 4-11 record, Hackett was let go by the Broncos on Monday, becoming just the fifth head coach to be fired during their first season on the job.
With Hackett now available, the talk of a return to the Packers has increased, whether it actually happens or not. Here are the pros and cons of a reunion between the Packers and Hackett.
Pros of Packers reuniting with Nathaniel Hackett
Well, it’s hard to look past what the Packers were able to do with Hackett coaching the offense during his time with the team. Let’s take a look at the offensive production the team had during the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons with Hackett leading them (via ESPN):
- 2019 season: 345.5 offensive yards per game (18th in NFL), 23.5 points per game (15th)
- 2020 season: 389.0 offensive yards per game (fifth in NFL), 31.8 points per game (first)
- 2021 season: 365.6 offensive yards per game (10th in NFL), 26.5 points per game (10th)
Compare these offensive statistics to Green Bay’s 342.6 offensive yards per game (16th) and 20.9 points per game (18th) through 16 weeks this season. Yes, the team is without star receiver Davante Adams after they traded him to the Las Vegas Raiders this past offseason. But, it’s hard to look at these numbers, especially in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and not wonder if Hackett could help turn things around, even if he isn’t the offensive coordinator.
Then, there’s the Aaron Rodgers effect. Rodgers has spoke highly of Hackett during their time together. If the Packers plan to continue moving forward with Rodgers as their starting quarterback, could he vouch to bring Hackett back? Let’s not forget that Rodgers did win the NFL MVP in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, where Hackett was his coordinator.