Inside The Bills

Hackett’s time as QBs coach with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 11, 2013 – 1:03 pm

Bills new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett spent two seasons with Buffalo from 2008-2009 as an offensive quality control coach. But for those that don’t remember, Hackett got unexpectedly thrust into a bigger coaching role right before the 2009 season got underway.

It was a week before the regular season and Buffalo’s offense had struggled mightily in the preseason. So much so that then head coach Dick Jauron fired offensive coordinator Turk Schonert a week before the season started. Alex Van Pelt was elevated immediately from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator with all of 10 days to prepare for a Monday night opener in New England.

That responsibility pulled Van Pelt away from the time usually allotted for coaching quarterbacks. Van Pelt made the decision to put Nathaniel Hackett in charge of the QBs.

“It was wild,” Hackett told “When that whole thing went down and all of a sudden he was the coordinator calling plays it was awesome that first year being with a guy I kind of grew up with and kind of the younger guy it was awesome to see his confidence in me.

“For him to let me take the quarterbacks, to work with them during practice and the meetings it was such a complement to me. It was awesome that he let me do that because it was a unique position and just being a quality control guy at that point it was great that he had that confidence in me.”

The experience helped move Hackett’s career forward because come the following year, Hackett was hired by Doug Marrone to be his quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Syracuse.

Hackett enjoyed coaching under Van Pelt, a former quarterback that his dad coached at Pitt. Paul Hackett was Van Pelt’s head coach with the Panthers in college.

“Being able to work with Coach Van Pelt was amazing,” said Hackett. “That’s why I actually originally came here. He’s a guy that I’ve known forever and a legendary quarterback obviously. I wanted to learn from him. I wanted to see how the position is played from his eyes.”

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