Image courtesy of Syracuse University Athletics
Bills head coach Doug Marrone said Monday that his search for qualified coordinators would begin right after his introduction to the Western New York media was complete. Apparently he wasn’t kidding. Marrone hired Nathaniel Hackett to serve as his offensive coordinator.
Hackett, 33, has been Marrone’s offensive coordinator at Syracuse for the past two seasons. In the 2010 season Marrone began to cede the offensive play calling duties to Hackett, when he was still serving as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
In 2012 the Syracuse offense set school records for total offense, total yards per game, plays, passing yards, passing yards per game, touchdown passes, completions, pass attempts and first downs. Marrone and Hackett made the decision to go to more of an up tempo attack and the Orange won five of their last six games.
“Putting this system in the way that we did we didn’t want to change what we had been, which was a run first team,” Hackett said after Syracuse’s Pinstripe Bowl win over West Virginia. “Committing to it even in this new up tempo style, it was a different mentality. The players just responded and loved it.
“We don’t have a lot of plays in the game plan they just execute them well. As a coach you get to teach technique and not all these plays and this and that. It’s, ‘Hey these are the plays that we’re going to be great at and nothing is going to stop us.” And believe in that. That’s what they did. For a coach it’s the greatest thing you can have.”
Hackett was instrumental in developing 2012 Pro Football Weekly All-American quarterback Ryan Nassib, who set Syracuse career and single-season records for passing yards, completions, and passing yards per game as well as single-season records for touchdown passes and total offense.
“Being here for three years with Ryan it was awesome to see,” said Hackett of his quarterback’s development. “What Ryan has done and the way that people have questioned him because he’s not a loud guy, because he’s not a rah-rah guy, but a guy that is so passionate about the game, so passionate about his teammates, so passionate about working hard.”
The offensive play caller also had a previous stint with the Buffalo Bills serving as the team’s offensive quality control coach from 2008-2009. His other NFL experience came as the offensive quality control coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons (2006-2007) under Jon Gruden.
Hackett is also the son of long time NFL and college coach Paul Hackett.