Matt LaFleur has made his first major hire since becoming the Green Bay Packers’ new head coach. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, LaFleur has tabbed former Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Nathaniel Hackett as his new offensive coordinator.
Hackett spent the past five years in Jacksonville where he served in a number of roles. He called offensive plays for the Jaguars during their run to the AFC Championship Game last season. While LaFleur will call his own plays in Green Bay, Hackett will have a hand in designing the offense and game planning each week.
Most of the coaches reportedly requested to interview for the offensive-coordinator position came from Kyle Shanahan Sean McVay’s staffs, two head coaches with which LaFleur has spent most of his career. Hackett has no formal ties to LaFleur prior to 2019, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the two will have trouble working together. Bringing in a top offensive assistant with a different perspective worked this past year for Chicago Bears, who brought in former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich to work under head coach Matt Nagy.
From Acme Packing Company’s story on the OC search:
At least one of the names under consideration for the Packers’ offensive-coordinator job fits the Helfrich model. Nathaniel Hackett has reportedly received interest from multiple NFC North teams, including Green Bay. Hackett served as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive coordinator and ran an offense that varied significantly from LaFleur’s. He also took the fall for the Jaguars’ offensive struggles this past season, receiving his walking papers from head coach Doug Marrone after a 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
But none of that should stop LaFleur from seriously considering Hackett for his staff. Less than a year has passed since Hackett, armed with only an undermanned receiving corps, a hobbled Leonard Fournette, and Blake Bortles, hung 38 points on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round and nearly toppled the New England Patriots a week later in the AFC Championship Game. Hackett has proven himself capable of squeezing more out his personnel than many of his contemporaries, and his offensive viewpoint could add new dimensions and features to LaFleur’s offense.
With Hackett now in the fold, LaFleur can turn his attention to the rest of the staff. LaFleur has reportedly already interviewed candidates for the vacant wide-receivers coach. He will also have to determine a replacement for longtime O-line coach James Campen, who the Packers allowed to depart for a similar role with the Cleveland Browns.