The Atlanta Falcons reportedly plan to interview Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for the head coach position on Thursday. The interviewed is expected to be conducted remotely.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweeted Thursday afternoon that "the Falcons are doing a virtual interview with Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett today, per me and @PSchrags (Peter Schrager). A big part of GB's offensive machine, this is Hackett's first HC interview this cycle."
Matt LaFleur hired Hackett as his offensive coordinator shortly after he was named the Packers head coach in January of 2019. The Packers finished 13-3 in 2019 and earned the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Under Hackett, the Packers averaged 23.5 points per game, 112.2 rushing yards per game, 233.3 passing yards per game and 345.5 total yards per game.
In 2020, the Packers were even better on offense as they once again finished with a 13-3 mark and the No. 1 seed in the NFC heading into the playoffs. Green Bay was No. 1 in the league in points per game (31.8), No. 5 in total yards per game (389.0), No. 9 in passing yards per game (256.6) and No. 8 in rushing yards per game (132.4).
Hackett, who was the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive from 2016-18, coordinator was fired by the Jags on Nov. 26, 2019, largely due to poor play from Blake Bortles, injuries and inconsistency up front. The year before, however, the Jaguars advanced to the AFC Championship Game.
So far the Falcons have interviewed the following candidates for head coach:
- Jan. 1: Raheem Morris, Atlanta Falcons interim head coach
- Jan. 4: Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator
- Jan. 4: Robert Saleh, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator
- Jan. 6: Joe Brady, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator
On Monday, in-person interviews began for head coach and general manager positions with candidates who are not current NFL club employees or whose club is not participating in the postseason. Virtual interviews for all head coach positions may begin with coaches whose clubs have a bye in the first week of the playoffs, and may continue through the conclusion of wild card games on Jan. 10.
Virtual interviews for high-level club employees and secondary football executive positions may begin. Once a candidate's employer club is eliminated from the playoffs, in-person interviews may begin.