May 21, 2024
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Hackett says Broncos coach Payton broke NFL code with attack on Jets | New York Jets

Nathaniel Hackett isn’t expecting a phone call from an apologetic Sean Payton any time soon.

The New York Jets offensive coordinator was disappointed by disparaging comments made by the Denver coach last week in which he called Hackett’s 15-game stint with the Broncos last season “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.”

Hackett, hired by the Jets during the offseason, said Payton – without ever mentioning the Broncos coach by name – broke an unwritten code with his public criticism.

“Before we get started, I just want to say something real quick,” Hackett said on Tuesday to open his first news conference of training camp. “Obviously, last week has been a very unique week, I think, for this organization. And, I’ve been involved in this business my whole life, 43 years. And as a coach, as a coach’s kid, we live in a glass house. We know that. We all live in different rooms. We’ve all got a key for it.

“And it’s one of those things that there’s a code, there’s a way things are done in that house. And, you know, this past week, it’s frustrating and it sucks, but we’re all susceptible to it.”

Payton, who is back on the sideline after a year-long sabbatical, criticized the work Hackett and his staff did during Denver’s 5-12 season, saying there were “20 dirty hands” around Russell Wilson’s career-worst year at quarterback.

Hackett acknowledged he made some mistakes in his first job as an NFL head coach – “I own all that stuff … I’ve got no excuses” – but was bothered by Payton’s attack.

“It’s unfortunate that that had to happen, that the comments that were made,” Hackett said. “But, hey, I’ll tell you, I was probably more surprised that they happened now. I was definitely expecting them in Week 5 [when the teams play this season]. So I’m almost thankful that we got that out of the way.”

Payton said last Friday he regretted disparaging his predecessor in the interview, as well as taking shots at the Jets, and that he would call Hackett and New York head coach Robert Saleh “at the right time.”

Hackett said on Tuesday he had not heard from Payton. He was then asked if he expected the Broncos coach to apologize.

“No,” Hackett said bluntly.

He was then asked if he would answer if Hackett called.

“I’ve never met the guy, so let’s get on from it,” Hackett said. “That was last week. We can move on from it. Same glass house.”

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Saleh said last Thursday that Hackett is “doing a phenomenal job here” when asked about Payton’s comments. He also said the Jets are just focused on themselves but that he recognizes “there’s a lot of people that are hatin’ on us and a lot of people looking for us to fail.”

Rodgers told the NFL Network on Sunday that he thought Payton’s comments were “way out of line, inappropriate, and I think he needs to keep my coaches’ names out of his mouth.”

Rodgers reiterated those comments Tuesday, saying he has “a lot of love for Nathaniel” and was bothered by what Payton said.

“I think that there was a lot of people that felt that way,” Rodgers said. “I think there’s a lot of people that were surprised by the comments. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and you don’t have to like it – and I didn’t like it at all. That’s why I say what I said.”

Hackett smiled when he was asked if he’s looking forward to the Jets’ matchup with the Broncos on 8 October.

“Just another game,” he said.

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