The New York Jets now have Aaron Rodgers to bring a specific asset to the team
In the New York Jets‘ first game of the 2022 preseason, Quincy Williams hit Jalen Hurts when he was already out of bounds. Williams was called for unnecessary roughness.
Then, he was back on the field for the next play.
In the first OTA practice of 2023, the Jets’ offense was struggling against their defense. Their quarterback stood in the huddle and spoke to them flatly: “Get your [stuff] together.”
This is another element that Aaron Rodgers brings to the Jets, one that is not talked about enough. Calling it “leadership” is one thing, but it’s more than just leadership; it’s accountability. The Jets have other leaders on the team—C.J. Mosley, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and D.J. Reed have taken that mantle at times. But there was no one who could stand in front of the team and tell them, “This is how it’s done.”
Rodgers did not like that the offense was complacent, especially with ball security. He told them so. That’s something that didn’t seem to happen last season, even when players made boneheaded mistakes.
Rodgers wants teammates to be "intentional" during practice — aka don't go through the motions. He sensed some slacking yesterday, especially w/ ball security, and delivered that message to the offense. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) May 23, 2023
The Jets’ offense cannot stand in front of one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history and slack off. Rodgers not only demands their utmost by example but commands it in the huddle.
I have been critical of Robert Saleh’s failure to hold his players accountable in the past. In fact, Rodgers’ comment that he likes how Saleh allows “freedom of expression” seems to reflect what has gone on with some Jets players on social media throughout Saleh’s tenure. Players like Mekhi Becton have felt a little too free to express themselves, knowing there won’t be serious repercussions.
The Jets’ veteran offensive linemen had so many mental lapses last season with no visible accountability. The defense was called for five roughing-the-passer penalties, tied for the second-most in the league. They had multiple unnecessary roughness penalties on special teams. It seemed that no one said a word.
Rodgers may not be the one to talk to the defense about these mistakes, but the offense, at least, will hear it from him if they make gaffes. It’s one thing to simply play poorly, but when the errors are mental or based on a lack of effort, no longer will players be able to loaf.
I have never been in favor of a quarterback screaming at individual players in full view of the cameras. But a general message to the team to get their [stuff] together and to stop being complacent?
It’s about time someone said that around Florham Park.
Rivka, we are all grown up, and have suffered enough with the Jets to be battle scarred. You do not have to avoid commonly used words around us. We all know that the Jets have only occasionally had their shit together.
Oh, it wasn’t for your benefit but mine. I do not swear and avoid those words to the greatest extent possible in my articles.
I know it is tough, but new head coaches also have to get their feet wet too, so to speak.
It does appear as each season goes by, Robert has made adjustments in his ability to push the right buttons.
I am also a believer that accountability is easier to demand when you’re a winning ball club.
As it would mean that they have players doing it the right way, and you’re less likely to be alienated for speaking up, as a player.
This is why Joe values character in a player, and has made the point to bring in those type of players.
As a fan, we love the availability social media provides, but we also have to take the good with the bad. I believe Robert has done well with this aspect with today’s players, and how they communicate.
So, though it is true that some players have had their ups and downs with social media. I would prefer a coach who understands, and hopefully uses them as learning lessons, and not something that is punishable.
If he punishes those who post something negative on social media, then players would use social media less, and the fan loses out.
So, balance is very important.
It is great to see Aaron step up and take on a leadership role with this team, and bottom line, that is the story, not what has Robert done the past two years.
I have never been a fan of Rodgers. His lies about his vaccination statusreally bothered me and his alleged not caring and throwing teammates under the bus was concerning. But, since he has become a Jet he has been extremely likeable. He comes off great in his press conferences. Shows leadership. I particularly liked how he talked about trying to create dialogue between players and coaches where players get a voice in the locker room. One of the biggest criticisms of Saleh is he is to tough on players with his tough love approach. It does not boost their confidence and does not allow for interaction between coaches and players. We saw the downside with this with Zach losing confidence. I like where Rodgers emphasized the importance of players being able to participate so they can ask questions in meetings and bridge the gap between the play design on the projector and what actually happens on the field. Rather than coaches doing the all the talking and players only listening.
Uh, this is kind of a serious indictment of Saleh. I’ve always been irked by the sense that he is little more than a cheerleader. Even strategically, “all gas, no breaks” is easy to game plan against. Regardless of what you think of him, I think everyone would have to agree that he has a lot of room for growth as a head coach.