Packers' Hackett and Grant Together Again

The 2017 Jaguars were a bit of a Cinderella story with an unproven coaching staff and a young quarterback.  After a free agent splurge stocked the defense with talent, Blake Bortles played well enough under the guidance of then-Jaguars and now-Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to advance to the AFC Championship game.  

The task ahead was quite difficult (and it turns out insurmountable).  The young Jags headed to New England to take on Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and the Patriots.  Hackett had to figure out how to get Bortles to score enough points against the greatest defensive coach of all time to qualify for the Super Bowl.  It was a big ask.  

One of the key components Hackett came up with was a package of plays desigend to get running back/kick returner Corey Grant.  Grant had run the ball just 30 times over the course of the season and caught just three passes.  It's incredibly unlikely the Auburn product was featured heavily in New England's scouting report. 

Fast forward two seasons and Hackett has been brought to Green Bay as the OC, and Grant signed as a free agent.  

Let's take a look at how Grant was deployed by Hackett in the AFC Championship game.

Hackett starts the Grant package by bunching him with a tight end and a wide receiver on the strong side of the formation.  Jacksonville fakes a zone run to the weak side and throws a screen behind the bunch.  The design creates a 2 on 2 matchup for the blockers, and neither defender is able to make a play on Grant, who picks up 20+ yards.

The Jaguars then dial up a true beauty, faking the handoff to grant and then flipping him the ball over the outstretched arms of a rusher.  Teams often disregard the play action "fakee", and this was no different.  Big gainer again.  

Hackett then dials up the bunch screen again, with just a slightly different alignment. 

Finally, Hackett tries to get the ball to Grant on a handoff, but Lawrence Guy does an excellent job.  

Ultimately Grant may not even be a likely player to make the roster, but it's clear Hackett and Lafleur have seen something they like in the speedster.

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Ross Uglem is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @RossUglem 

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Comments (12)

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ricky's picture

July 28, 2019 at 04:24 pm

You can't coach speed. Add in an ability to catch passes and get YAC, and you could have a weapon. Can he block? Because that is a requirement for Packers RB's.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

July 28, 2019 at 07:51 pm

Is it Ricky? Pass protection was a requirement for MM's Packers when Rodgers held the ball forever. If MLF gets the ball out faster is it a requirement?

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4thand1's picture

July 28, 2019 at 05:55 pm

Exactly JS

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Coldworld's picture

July 28, 2019 at 11:11 pm

I think some ability is going to be required. Even if Grant were not the only RB, you still need the D guessing. One comment I did see on Grant was that if he was in teams knew it wasn’t to block, and this run or focus on him as a pass threat. Need to rectify that if he is going to get regular snaps.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 29, 2019 at 12:14 am

Ricky, based on today's (Sunday's) practice, Grant can't pass block. At least he will have to improve on it. Nobody cared if Bortles got hit.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 28, 2019 at 05:44 pm

I can't wait to see what Hackett and MLF come up with on a week to week basis. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure

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jeepingmakooi's picture

July 28, 2019 at 07:18 pm

Considering that MLF offense is predicated on the idea that this the the same I'm going to say the backs will still need to pass block... A delayed hand off might be set up off a play action and vis versa

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CoachJV's picture

July 28, 2019 at 09:49 pm

The way I see it is he's here to compete with Davis for the Returner job. If he wins out, we have an extra man at RB instead of WR... so it balances out.

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Rak47's picture

July 28, 2019 at 10:54 pm

Not so sure about that JV. Grant has never returned punts in the NFL so how he was brought in to compete with Davis I'm not so sure. Grant is a KR which is also something else the Packers are in need of as well as quality depth.

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Coldworld's picture

July 28, 2019 at 11:13 pm

He only returned one in college as well. Whether that means he can’t or that he simply wasn’t used as the primary due to his other roles, I do not know.

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Rudedawg67's picture

July 28, 2019 at 10:28 pm

This guy is fast. I am talking sub 4.3 fast. He has potential. If he hits a hole he is a home run threat. Jacksonville wasn’t the best place to be a RB his time the since they had no passing game to help set up the run. Hopefully Title-town will be a better fit.

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Turophile's picture

July 29, 2019 at 03:21 am

His speed is crazy. The list of guys that can run sub 4.3 is pretty small. If he can field balls on ST well, he could push for a place on this years very crowded 53 man roster.

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