Rodgers calls Nathaniel Hackett a ‘big reason' he chose Jets


On Wednesday, Aaron Rodgers was formally introduced as a New York Jet, grasping the threads of his green No. 8 jersey in front of a room stockpiled with media members, coaches and players. 

Throughout the offseason, rumblings of a Jets-Rodgers marriage came about once he arrived out of his notorious darkness retreat. After that, the Jets started making a flurry of interesting moves, creating cap space and signing former Packers players Allen Lazard and Tim Boyle. Most thought the Jets were attempting to lure him with people he enjoyed playing alongside. 

No move, however, was more intriguing and evident of the aforementioned theory, than the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett to become the Jets' offensive coordinator. Rodgers confirmed the presence of his former offensive coordinator from days in Green Bay was a "big reason" why he decided to join the Jets. 

"A big reason I'm here, I gotta mention, is Nathaniel Hackett, who is here," Rodgers said. "Hack and I became really close friends for three years in Green Bay. I love him like a brother. And I believe in him. And I'm really happy to be back working with him."

Back in January, the Jets hired Hackett quickly after he was fired from the Denver Broncos. Hackett went from the Packers' offensive coordinator to becoming the head coach of the Denver Broncos last season. 

Without hyperbole, he failed miserably in Denver. The Broncos – expected to be, at least, a playoff team in the AFC – recorded the worst record in the AFC West and became the laughingstock of the NFL. They paid a hefty price for Russell Wilson via trade with the Seattle Seahawks the prior offseason. But Wilson and Hackett failed to create any concrete success and the Broncos canned Hackett before the season ended as a result. 

So, when the Jets agreed to bring in Hackett as their offensive coordinator, it was head-scratching. How could an NFL coach find a job so quickly after coming off of arguably the worst coaching performance in a first season in history? 

It's likely because of his relationship with Aaron Rodgers, that's why. But on The Pat McAfee Show in March, Rodgers refuted that claim, standing up for his once-offensive coordinator. 

"The only offense [I've taken today is] to that statement, honestly," Rodgers said. "That actually diminishes the ability that he has to coach football and connect with people. That is, to me, the f---ing objective reality.

"Anybody who's been around Nathaniel Hackett knows that he brings a lot of energy, a lot of fun. He's an incredible teacher of the game, especially the quarterback position. And he's a really good human being. For people to say that that was done just to attempt to lure me is a total disservice to Nathaniel Hackett."

MORE: Rodgers addresses story behind Nathaniel Hackett's Jets hire

Rodgers went on a tangent about Hackett's résumé and credentials as a successful coach in the NFL. But before then, he admitted Hackett was a reason he gained interest in the New York Jets, despite their longtime standing without a playoff berth in the AFC (since 2010, in fact).

And on Wednesday, he repeated the same thing, singing praise for his beloved offensive mind and rejoicing with the fact that he gets to team up with him in a place outside of Green Bay. 

All of this is to say, it's comforting to see and hear the dramatization and presence of Rodgers is a conference away from the Chicago Bears. 

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