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Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett excited for Year 2 of offense: ‘It’s a completely different feel’


Last year, almost nothing went as planned for the New York Jets — especially on offense. Just four snaps into their season, Aaron Rodgers went down with a torn Achilles. And things only got worse from there, as the offensive line fell apart and Zach Wilson continued to struggle. The Jets finished the year 31st in yards, 29th in points, and dead last in both FTN’s DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) and Tru Media’s version of expected points added per play.

With Rodgers back, and after adding Tyron Smith, John Simpson, and Mike Williams in free agency, Morgan Moses in a trade, and Olu Fashanu, Malachi Corley, and Braelon Allen in the draft, New York is hoping to take things up a notch in 2024. And offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett thinks the team will get a boost from being in Year 2 of the system — even if Rodgers wasn’t on the field for Year 1.

“Anytime you’re in a second-year offense, it’s a completely different feel from when you first start,” Hackett said, via the team’s official website. “You’re installing plays, you’re installing alignments, and you’re talking about guys just trying to understand what they’re doing. Now you can really detail it up. You can talk about the intricacies of the route. You can experiment with new plays, new motions, all kinds of different, fun things. So it’s been really good. I think the guys have really enjoyed it.”

As far as last year goes, Hackett apparently thinks the team will benefit from the things that went wrong, too.

“There were a lot of things we had to do and there was a lot of adversity,” Hackett said. “And I think adversity builds strength. And I think some of the experience the guys had, whether it was the young wide receivers, the offensive linemen who were just coming into the building and starting right away, it’s great for being able to put on that game face and feel more confidence.

“And for us, you can’t necessarily get excited yet. There’s still a long way to go. Before that first game, you still have a lot of work to do. The guys got to get on the same page. We need to have some consistency. We are slowly getting closer and closer. I think that’s when the excitement will build.”

New York has to thread a very small needle in order to get where it wants to go. It needs Rodgers to stay healthy and recapture his MVP form of 2020 and 2021. It needs Smith and Williams to stay healthy. It needs Hackett to not look like one of the least-equipped coordinators in the NFL at putting his players in position to succeed. And it needs the defense to maintain its standard of play from the last few years. That’s a pretty long-odds parlay to hit, but the Jets are counting on it coming through.

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Author: Jared Dubin
July 11, 2024 | 11:00 am

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