USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone is bringing his top offensive assistant at Syracuse, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, with him to the NFL in the same role. Hackett will be Buffalo's play-caller next season.
Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone has made his first assistant coaching hire: Nathaniel Hackett, his offensive coordinator at Syracuse, will be coming to Orchard Park with Marrone to serve as Buffalo's offensive coordinator. ESPN's Brett McMurphy and the Syracuse Post-Standard had the scoop first, with The Buffalo News confirming Hackett's move as well as his role.
That's a complete 180 from a Monday evening report that Hackett would be staying at Syracuse to work under Marrone's replacement, Scott Shafer.
Hackett, 33, is the son of long-time college and NFL play caller Paul Hackett. Nathaniel Hackett has four years of NFL experience, but spent those four years as a mere offensive quality control assistant - including a short stint with the Bills as a staff member for Dick Jauron - before jumping to Syracuse to call plays for Marrone. Viewed as an up-and-comer in the business, Hackett is nonetheless very raw at the NFL level, which will put a good deal of pressure on Marrone to get the offense working efficiently straight away.
At his introductory press conference, Marrone indicated that he would not be calling plays on offense. That job will likely fall to Hackett, who has made huge leaps up the chain of command in a very short period of time. Marrone also said that he was looking for experienced coordinators, adding a "particularly on defense" qualifier; whether you like the hire or not (I do), Hackett is certainly inexperienced.