Former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett did not have a good run as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Believed to be hired in order to lure Aaron Rodgers to Denver, Hackett led the Broncos to a dismal 4-11 record before being fired. Earlier this offseason, he was hired as the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets, who did succeed in trading for Rodgers, who won two MVP’s with Hackett as his offensive coordinator in Green Bay.
Hackett has been replaced in Denver by the polarizing Sean Payton, the once long-time head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Payton has been making headlines lately, calling Hackett’s tenure in Denver “one of the worst coaching jobs in the NFL,” among other things.
Well, it seems like those comments didn’t sit very well with Rodgers.
Former Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Fires Back at Sean Payton
Payton has since apologized for his remarks, if one wants to call this an apology: “Listen, I had one of those moments where I still had my Fox hat on and not my coaching hat.” Last season, Payton worked as an analyst for Fox Sports.
It wasn’t much of an apology, and Rodgers doesn’t think so either. Today, Rodgers was interviewed on NFL+ and had the following message for the Broncos head coach:
“I think he needs to keep my coaches’ names out of his mouth.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 30, 2023
“Those comments were very surprising. For a coach to do that to another coach. My love for Hack goes deep. We had some good years together in Green Bay. Kept in touch. Love him and his family.
“He’s an incredible family man, an incredible dad. And on the field, he’s literally my favorite coach I’ve ever had in the NFL. His approach to it, how he makes it fun, how he cares about the guys.
“It made me feel bad that someone who has accomplished so much in the league is that insecure that they have to take another man down to set themselves up. I think it was way out of line and inappropriate.
“And I think he needs to keep my coach’s name out of his mouth.”
By the way, the Jets and Broncos play each other in Week Five.
It is really interesting that Rodgers identified Hackett as his favorite coach that he’s had in the NFL. This certainly is not an offense to any other coaches, but rather is a testament to how underrated Hackett is.
While some fans may feel the temptation to say it was an underlying shot at Mike McCarthy and Matt LaFleur, keep in mind that this statement puts Hackett over Tom Clements on Rodgers’ list of favorite coaches. And Rodgers loved playing for Clements.
No, this was genuine love and praise from Rodgers towards Hackett, who really is one of the best human beings in the NFL. It was a shame that Payton decided to drag him the way he did; very small of him.
And all he did was inspire Rodgers to circle the Broncos game on his calendar. As everyone knows, Rodgers loves having a chip on his shoulder, and he’ll have a tree trunk on there come Week Five.