The NY Jets recently concluded a thorough search for their next offensive coordinator, doing their due diligence on a plethora of candidates with varying levels of experience. They ultimately decided on former Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Regardless of Hackett's impressive resume as an offensive coordinator, his tenure leading the Broncos left a lot to be desired on the offensive side of the ball.
General manager Joe Douglas is entering his fifth season with the team, and Robert Saleh is in his third year. The controversial hiring of Hackett will up the stakes for these two — as if they were not high enough already.
In spite of franchise players like Sauce Garnder, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Quinnen Williams (hopefully he re-signs), a lack of effective quarterbacking has prevented the team from getting where they need to go.
First-year regimes having immediate success like the New York Giants under Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen make the Jets' brain trust look incompetent, even if the team undoubtedly took a step forward in year two of the pairing.
The Jets' cross-town rivals were able to make the playoffs in a loaded division in the first year of a new regime with a far less talented roster, so both Saleh and Douglas have hitched their proverbial wagons to Hackett with this hiring.
Nathaniel Hackett will make or break the NY Jets' current regime
This would always be the case, no matter who they brought in, but the national media discourse surrounding the job Hackett did in Denver will only amplify these talking points.
The current narrative surrounding Hackett and the Jets has positioned them as the new favorite to land Aaron Rodgers in a trade.
Saleh said that the two discussed bringing in a veteran option, but opted not to name any names for the sake of keeping things in-house. Despite not naming anyone specific, it is relatively easy to connect the dots on their preferred QB1.
Many believe that this team is a QB away from contention, and this might be true with the amount of young talent they have on both sides of the ball. However, failure to improve upon this past season should result in a cleaning of the house courtesy of Woody Johnson.
Even if the Jets are able to acquire Aaron Rodgers, a failure to make the playoffs will cause rumblings of a house cleaning, whether this is truly fair or not.
The Jets were always going to go with experience over youth with their next offensive coordinator hire. Mike LaFleur looked lost at several points during the season, and teams seemed to know exactly what the Jets were going to do on offense once Breece Hall went down.
Given that this team was 5-2 before Hall and Alijah Vera-Tucker went down, playoffs should be the expectation with Rodgers or without, and rightfully so.
If the Jets could mask Zach Wilson with Breece Hall, the expectation for Hackett with a veteran passer will be to run an offense that allows the Jets to play complementary football and make a push for the playoffs.
Anything less will be considered a failure, and likely will lead to a full reset, courtesy of ownership. This is the unsettling reality of the NFL, fair or unfair.
Winning is the only thing that truly matters.