The Jacksonville Jaguars officially announced on Wednesday evening that offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett would remain with the football team in the same position he held for half of last season. Hackett was hired by the Jaguars prior to the 2015 season to be the team’s quarterbacks coach, a combination hire with then offensive line coach Doug Marrone.
Once the Jaguars promoted Marrone from interim head coach to full time head coach, it was pretty obvious the team would be sticking with Hackett as the offensive coordinator. The Chip Kelly interview earlier in the week brought that into question, but Kelly either declined the job or the Jaguars got tired of waiting on an answer, and kept Hackett on as many expected. Hackett himself is fine, he was Marrone’s offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills and got blood from a turnip when you consider the quarterbacks he had to work with.
I’m indifferent on the Hackett hire, because it’s what I expected, but the spin from the team and some fans will clearly be that Hackett brings ‘continuity’ to the Jaguars offense and more importantly quarterback Blake Bortles. As we know, Bortles is on his third offense in as many seasons and there was a lot of concern about potentially being on a fourth headed into 2017 so keeping Hackett on allowed some continuity and it wouldn’t be a fourth offense for Bortles to learn.
That would be incorrect, however.
Hackett doesn’t bring any continuity other than just his relationship working with Bortles to the team. The offense he was running when Greg Olson was hired and Hackett stepped into his place was not his own, but a tweaked version of what Olson ran. Heading into the 2017 season, Hackett will undoubtedly design his own offensive scheme based on what he thinks will work for Bortles and the Jaguars offensive personnel.
Whether it was Hackett, Chip Kelly or someone else, Bortles would still be learning and running a brand new offense. I’m not sure what to expect from Hackett, but it is worth noting that once Gus Bradley was fired, the offense seemed to open up and look completely different. Whether that was because of restrictions Bradley had or if it was because the team had nothing to lose and could afford to play open remains to be seen.
But again, the story of it being good because of “continuity” is a misguided one.