Many observers of the Buffalo Bills expected some head-coaching hirings across the NFL to have some Bills connections.
Not only is the first one unexpected, at one time, it seemed very unlikely to ever happen… but here we are.
The Denver Broncos are finalizing a deal to hire Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach. The names western New Yorkers had been expecting to first hear in terms of a hiring elsewhere were the Bills’ current coordinators, Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier.
Rather, it’s a blast from the past.
Hackett, 42, is another younger hire by the Broncos compared to previous NFL standards. His first NFL opportunity actually came in Buffalo.
In 2013, Hackett broke into the pros with the Bills as their offensive coordinator for two years as a member of head coach Doug Marrone’s staff.
Over the course of those seasons, Hackett’s offenses weren’t anything overly impressive. The Bills ranked 19th and 26th in total yards, respectively.
After departing Buffalo when Marrone did, Hackett eventually, like Marrone, ended up with the Jacksonville Jaguars starting in 2015. That lasted until 2018 and the ensuing season saw Hackett’s fortunes really change.
The Green Bay Packers hired Hackett as their offensive coordinator. With Hackett pulling the strings with a much more talented roster which included the likes of quarterback Aaron Rodgers among others, Hackett’s name began thrown into head-coaching rumors.
Now, he’s hired.
Time will tell if Hackett works out in Denver. Unfortunately for the Bills, Hackett’s hiring really does them no favors currently.
As referenced, Daboll and Frazier have been connected to coaching vacancies in recent weeks. The three teams both are connected to are the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, with the latter two having the stronger mentions.
There were no real connections with Daboll or Frazier with the Broncos, so Hackett going there doesn’t do anything for Buffalo.
Stay tuned to Bills Wire throughout the winter as we will provide all updates regarding Buffalo assistants and front-office members that are connected to other NFL teams.