GLENDALE, Ariz. — Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne believes the Jets landed someone who can turn things around for Gang Green in new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Henne played under Hackett with the Jaguars from 2015-17. Hackett was first his quarterbacks coach then was named offensive coordinator in the middle of the 2016 season.
“Nathaniel and I are very close,” Henne said this week as he prepared for Super Bowl 2023 on Sunday against the Eagles. “I think he’s an unbelievable coach. He’s very similar to Coach [Andy] Reid in that he sees the game like the quarterback. He communicates to the quarterback.
“Obviously, this year everyone is like, ‘Oh, Hackett’ because of what happened with the Broncos. But I don’t see it that way. I just feel like he’s got too much brainpower, too much love for the game, too much emotion that he’ll be back on his feet and lead the Jets to better places.”
Hackett had his best season as a coordinator with the Jaguars in 2017. With Blake Bortles as the starting quarterback and running back Leonard Fournette leading the way, the Jaguars had the best rushing attack in the NFL and made it to the AFC Championship game, holding a 10-point fourth-quarter lead before falling to the Patriots, 24-20.
“In Jacksonville, we wanted to establish the run,” Henne said. “I would say he’s a run-first guy. He wants to get the tone set on offense with the run game and build off of that with the pass game. He’s like what we do. We have different formations that we run. We’ll have a run, we’ll have a couple of passes off of it. Everything kind of meshes and looks the same. I love him. He’s one of the best I’ve been around.”
Henne said Hackett’s system should not be hard to learn for the Jets’ returning players.
“He has the ability to adjust,” Henne said. “If they had a system last year with different verbiage, he can tie in their verbiage with his verbiage, especially with a young quarterback. Obviously, no one knows what’s going to happen with Zach [Wilson]. But he has the ability to adjust and make it easy on the offense, as well.”