New York Jets coach breaks silence on 'unfortunate' comments made by Sean Payton

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Nathaniel Hackett responded to Sean Payton
Nathaniel Hackett responded to Sean Payton's comments after being confronted by the media (Image: New York Jets / Twitter)

Nathaniel Hackett has finally responded to disrespectful comments made towards him by Sean Payton, as he looks to end the drama.

Payton didn't hold back in a recent interview on USA Today, blaming former Denver Broncos head coach Hackett for his treatment of quarterback Russell Wilson and also questioning his methods after a woeful season. Hackett went 4-11 before being fired from his first ever job as head coach, and is now the offensive coordinator at the New York Jets.

The comments at Hackett did not go down well in the Jets camp, with head coach Robert Saleh saying that it was a compliment the Broncos were worried about them enough to make remarks. Jets player Billy Turner also fired an angry tweet, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers defended his offensive coordinator.

Payton later retracted his comments, later saying he had his "FOX head on" as the drama spiralled quickly. The last person to speak about the incident was Hackett himself, although he's now broken his silence.

Hackett addressed reporters at the Jets' Florham Park facility after Tuesday's practice, for the first time since Payton made his comments. But Hackett took it upon himself to address the situation, starting off with a message before taking questions.

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"I just wanted to start by saying, last week has been a very unique week I think for this organisation," Hackett said. "I've been involved in this business my whole life. 43 years, as a coach, a coach's kid. We live in a glass house. We know that.

"We all live in different rooms and we've got a key for it. It's one of those things, there's a code and a way things are done in that house. This past week, it's frustrating and it sucks. We're all susceptible to it.

"There are things that you do, mistakes that you make and it costs you time on the field, costs you your job and all those things. I own all that stuff. I've got no excuses. That's how we live here at the New York Jets, that's how we've lived everywhere I've been.

"It's unfortunate that it had to happen, the comments that were made, but they did! I'll be honest, I'm more surprised that they happened now, I was definitely expecting them in Week 5. So I'm almost thankful we got that out of the way.

"You can always look at that silver lining, man... this organisation. These players, the coaches, (Robert) Saleh... everybody has been unbelievable and it's brought everyone together."

The Jets play the Broncos in Week 5 of the 2023 season, and it's a match-up that now has a lot more interest surrounding it than it initially did when the schedules were released. It's scheduled for Sunday, October 8, with kick-off at 4:25 p.m. ET (9:25pm UK Time).

Joseph McBride

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