Chip Kelly won’t be coaching in Jacksonville anytime soon.
The Jaguars on Wednesday named Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator, making his position a permanent role after he served as the interim play-caller for the latter part of the 2016 season.
The 37-year-old Hackett worked as the team’s quarterbacks coach last season and for the first seven games of this year’s campaign before taking over for the fired Greg Olson after a Week 8 loss to the Titans.
Hackett’s handiwork was enough to convince new head coach Doug Marrone that the in-house option was preferable to Kelly, who interviewed for the position this week.
“We are excited to announce Nathaniel Hackett as our offensive coordinator and he will immediately be tasked with installing and implementing our offense this offseason,” Marrone said in a statement. “I have had the pleasure of working with Nathaniel for seven consecutive seasons and know firsthand how knowledgeable and passionate he is about winning.”
The trick in Jacksonville boils down to turning quarterback Blake Bortles into a reliably functional starter. Fans saw progress in the signal-caller over Marrone’s two-week coaching stint to close the season, but Bortles was a white-hot mess for much of the year.
As the team’s website points out, though, the Jaguars saw considerable improvement after Hackett replaced Olson, with the offense trending up in time of possession (30th to 13th), goal-to-go efficiency (15th to fourth) and red-zone efficiency (16th to fifth). During that span, Jacksonville also upped its ground game from 30th in yards to fifth and 26th to 13th in yards per rush.
This bruised fan base can only hope for more of the same come September.