Being Aaron Rodgers’ guy helping Hackett avoid harsher criticism


The Fall Guys of the NFL: The New York Jets and Nathaniel Hackett

In the world of the NFL, there are always scapegoats. Whether it’s the quarterback, the head coach, or even the owner, there’s always someone to blame for a team’s struggles. And no team knows this better than the New York Jets. Despite their lack of success and the absence of any reason to expect competence, the Jets continue to be one of the most scrutinized franchises in the NFL.

This year, as the Jets sit at a disappointing 4-7 record, it’s easy to point fingers. The injury to star quarterback Aaron Rodgers certainly played a role in their struggles, as did the underwhelming performance of rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. However, one person who seems to have escaped much of the blame is offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

In previous years, Hackett has been the target of criticism, with columnists taking turns whacking at the Hackett pinata. But this season, the blame seems to have shifted elsewhere. While it’s true that some of the blame should be placed on the players themselves, such as wide receivers Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, who have failed to make a significant impact under Hackett’s guidance, it’s also important to consider the impact of a healthy Rodgers.

It’s clear that Hackett’s hiring was questionable from the start. Much like the New York Giants’ decision to hire Jason Garrett after his ousting in Dallas, bringing on Hackett seemed like a questionable move, considering the lackluster performance of his previous team, the Denver Broncos. However, it often takes several failures for NFL front offices to determine who is and isn’t a good coach.

Last season, Hackett’s Broncos averaged just 5.1 yards per play, ranking 23rd in the NFL. This season, the Jets are even worse, averaging just 4.4 yards per play, placing them at 30th in the league. These are the kinds of statistics that are often used to bury the designated scapegoat.

But it’s not just the offensive struggles that should be examined. The Jets’ offensive line has also been a major concern, potentially contributing to the team’s bottom-five running game. Whether it’s the fault of the offensive line or Hackett’s scheme, it’s clear that something needs to change.

While this article is not intended to defend Zach Wilson, it’s worth noting that his development and success were meant to be guided by Hackett. However, it seems that the protection and support given to Rodgers are not extended to Wilson. This raises questions about the fairness and equality within the team.

So, where is the outrage in New York? Who should be held accountable for the Jets’ struggles? As Aaron Rodgers prepares to return to the field, it’s likely that the blame will shift once again. Will it be placed on head coach Robert Saleh or offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett? Only time will tell.

In the end, the fall guys of the NFL are often interchangeable. Whether it’s a quarterback, a coordinator, or even an owner, there’s always someone to pin the blame on. And for the New York Jets, that blame seems to have shifted from Hackett to others. But as the season continues to unravel, it’s clear that something needs to change within the organization. Otherwise, the Jets may find themselves the subject of a future “30 for 30” documentary, chronicling their struggles and the fall guys along the way.

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