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The Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Wednesday that Nathaniel Hackett will remain the team’s offensive coordinator, a role he took on midway through the 2016 season.
New head coach Doug Marrone discussed the decision to keep Hackett on board:
We are excited to announce Nathaniel Hackett as our offensive coordinator and he will immediately be tasked with installing and implementing our offense this offseason. I have had the pleasure of working with Nathaniel for seven consecutive seasons and know firsthand how knowledgeable and passionate he is about winning.
Executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin added:
After taking over as the play-caller in 2016, the offensive unit made a significant jump under the direction of Nathaniel Hackett. Nathaniel comes from a coaching family and is truly ardent about the game of football, which is contagious to his players and the assistants. He has a long history of working alongside Coach Marrone and we are fortunate to have him on our coaching staff.
This will be the third time Hackett has served as Marrone’s offensive coordinator. He was also Syracuse’s offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2012 and the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills from 2013 to 2014. He took over as the quarterbacks coach for the Jaguars in 2015 before being promoted to offensive coordinator in October, taking over for the fired Greg Olson.
Prior to joining Marrone at Syracuse, Hackett was an offensive quality-control coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006-07) and the Bills (2008-09).
Hackett held off former Oregon, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly to retain his job. The Jaguars interviewed Kelly for the position before deciding to stick with Hackett.
He has his work cut out for him, however. While the team has promising weapons on offense, primarily young receivers Allen Robinson (23), Allen Hurns (25) and Marqise Lee (25), the Jaguars are coming off a season that saw them finish 23rd in yards (334.9) and 25th in points per game (19.9).
Additionally, the Jaguars have a major question mark at quarterback, as Blake Bortles took a step back in his third season after a promising sophomore campaign in 2015. His poor 58.8 career completion percentage has highlighted his inconsistent play.
Determining whether Bortles is a long-term solution at quarterback—and improving his play if he remains the team’s top option—will be one of Hackett’s primary goals next season. If Marrone and Hackett can’t upgrade the team’s quarterback play, their third tenure together may be short-lived.
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