Some Buffalo Bills fans and reporters who cover the team are questioning new head coach Doug Marrone's decision to hire Nathaniel Hackett -- his offensive coordinator at Syracuse -- as his offensive coordinator in Buffalo.
Part of it is Marrone's doing. He said he would bring in assistants with NFL experience. While Hackett does have coaching experience in the NFL, he has never served as an offensive coordinator in the NFL.
But Bills fans should keep in mind that Hackett ran a similar offense to the one the Bills ran in the 1990s with Jim Kelly. Of course, the Bills need a good quarterback to run this offense on the field, but I'm keeping an open mind. This could be great for the Bills' offense, especially players like C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler.
Also, Hackett will call the plays in Buffalo. Marrone has said he will be more of a "CEO" as head coach, meaning he will be involved in all areas of the game plan instead of just focusing on one part like Chan Gailey did. So the offense play calling will be Hackett's responsibility. I thought he was an effective play caller at Syracuse. We'll see how that translates to the pros.
Here's what I have to say to skeptics. Hackett is a fresh face. He will bring a new approach to Buffalo. Sure, this is his first experience as an NFL offensive coordinator. But again, keep an open mind. This is a guy who has been around the league for his entire life. (His father, Paul Hackett, is a longtime NFL assistant.)
What I find amusing is some of the same people questioning this hire also criticized Chan Gailey's play calling. Chan Gailey wasn't new to the NFL. He has been a football coach in college and the pros for more than 30 years. Yet, his offensive game plan and play calling were criticized.
Give Hackett a fair shot. He has worked well with Marrone in the past. We'll see how his offensive plans translate to the NFL.