Sauce Gardner, NY Jets, Tariq Woolen, CB, Rankings
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, Getty Images

Sauce Gardner condemns the NFL world’s tendency to pit players against one another

If you’re a New York Jets fan on Twitter (if you’re not on Twitter, just preserve your sanity and keep it that way), you know there isn’t a day that goes by without someone starting a toxic debate about Sauce Gardner. Whether it’s claiming Gardner is overrated or pitting him against another budding young star like Tariq Woolen or Patrick Surtain, there’s always a heated conversation going on about the cornerback position.

Gardner hates these discussions.

In an interview with former NFL safety Ryan Clark on “The Pivot” podcast, Gardner explained why he doesn’t subscribe to the idea of comparing himself to other players at his position, instead preferring to lift his peers up.

Clark brought up a moment from this past January when Gardner spoke to Woolen after the Jets’ loss in Seattle to praise Woolen’s game and give him some pointers on how he thought Woolen can get better. When asked by Clark what makes it so important to Gardner to see others excel even while trying to be great himself, Gardner provided an insightful answer.

“I feel like if you want to be great, you gotta do that,” Gardner said. “We were just talking about ‘the secret sauce’. I can’t keep it all to myself. I got to instill it in other people. If I see Tariq, if he got a habit of doing something that’s really not going to work for him – I’m probably not going to tell him mid-game because we’re playing against each other – but after the game I might be like, ‘Hey, bro, hit my jack so we could watch some film, talk this over.’

“Because if I want to be great, I feel like I’m doing somebody else a disservice by just knowing, ‘I could be telling him this, but nah, I ain’t going to tell him this because I want to be better than him, because I’m competing with him.’ Nah, that’s not the case for me. We can all be great. There’s enough space in this world for all of us to eat.”

It’s a wonderful message from the 22-year-old, serving as further proof that he is mature beyond his years. With his historic rookie-year resume, Gardner would have every right to tout himself if he wanted to, but he chooses to use his platform to spread positivity and credit others.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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