The Atlanta Falcons are getting fast and physical with their interviews, completing nearly concurrent calls with both general manager and head coach candidates. Thanks to a worldwide pandemic, the video interviews are going really quickly.
The Falcons will interview Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Thursday for the head coach position.
If you wonder how Hackett, a candidate with multiple unsuccessful stints in the NFL who is currently not calling plays with the Packers, is somehow on Atlanta’s (and seemingly only Atlanta’s) radar, I can let you know he has connections to McKay.
Hackett was rumored to be a possibility for Atlanta back in November with the following note regarding Atlanta’s interest.
Hackett broke into the NFL in 2006 with Tampa as a quality control coach, and his father, Paul Hackett, worked on Jon Gruden’s staff in Tampa (McKay was part of the Bucs front office that traded for Gruden from the Raiders). He became one of the youngest coordinators in the NFL in 2013 when he ran the Bills offense for Doug Marrone and he served on Marrone’s staff in Jacksonville as well from 2015-18 before going to Green Bay when Matt LaFleur was hired there.
Hackett is an interesting prospect if only because he was hired two years ago by the coach the Falcons believed was unqualified to call their offensive plays four years ago. However, Hackett has at times had a successful run game and would hopefully bring some of those sweet, sweet Kyle Shanahan concepts back to Atlanta.
Hackett was connected to Atlanta again about a week ago, where a very good Falcoholic writer had this to say.
It is really difficult to be excited about Hackett as a head coach. He was behind Jacksonville’s impressive 2017 season featuring Leonard Fournette and Blake Bortles that lead the team into the playoffs but could not repeat that success in 2018. He does not call plays in Green Bay. He has not previously been amongst the top head coaching candidates.
Hackett, at this point in his career, should be looking for an offensive coordinator position where he can call the plays. He still has yet to prove he can consistently call successful plays. How he makes that jump to head coach is beyond me. At the same time, if he is not calling offensive plays, the Falcons could be looking at him more as a team builder than an Xs and Os specialist. Put him near the bottom of potential candidates.