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Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett in spotlight before game vs. Broncos

An interview given back in July continues to resonate ahead of the Denver Broncos’ Sunday home game against the New York Jets.

New Broncos head coach Sean Payton spoke with USA Today in the summer, ripping the job done last year by his predecessor, Nathaniel Hackett. Denver posted a 4-11 record during Hackett’s brief tenure in charge, and Payton said that he could get more out of quarterback Russell Wilson than Hackett did.

Hackett is now the Jets’ offensive coordinator, and his new team hasn’t forgotten the slight.

“It definitely feels like an entire organization threw him under the bus, from the firing in the first place and then those comments,” New York center Connor McGovern, a former Bronco, said on Thursday, according to the New York Post. “It’s not an easy job, and Hack’s such a great guy.

“I personally don’t need any extra motivation to go win a football game, but you definitely have your guy’s back, and want to do everything you can to make sure that you have Hack’s back.

“Anything you can do, if you feel like you need to do extra then do that, ’cause a guy like Hack you want to go fight for.”

While Payton walked back his criticism of Hackett days after the interview was published, Hackett acknowledged on Thursday that Payton has yet to speak directly with him.

Hackett added, “This game is about those guys out on the field. It’s not about me. Gotta go win a football game.”

The Jets enter the contest with a 1-3 record, having lost three in a row since quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a season-ending Achilles injury in the opener. The Broncos (1-3) ended a three-game skid by overcoming a 21-point, second-half deficit to beat the Chicago Bears last week.

–Field Level Media

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