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Aaron Rodgers flawlessly begins 2024 mission at NY Jets OTAs

Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets, OTA
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets, OTA, Getty Images

FLORHAM PARK, NJ—Well, there it is. Forget about carefully following your favorite team all season—sweating bullets and enduring heart-pounding moments all the while. Forget about worrying about your aging quarterback’s health and your embattled head coach’s wherewithal as a football boss.

This story’s headline says it all: Aaron Rodgers is set to take the New York Jets to the Super Bowl, where they’ll win the organization’s second Vince Lombardi Trophy. At this point, everything else is academic.

If only it were that simple.

Sure, the naysayers will point out that, on this day, May 21, 2024, anything said about Rodgers and the Jets is meaningless—courtesy of the early-offseason vibes. Fortunately, however, the naysayers are often miserable humans who spend too much time on social media and hardly drive the narrative.

No matter the end result, a football squad’s endpoint arrives after the journey—one that begins well before Week 1. And for the New York Jets, their 2024 journey begins with a flawless beginning for the club’s leader.

OTA structure and tempo

The New York Jets opened OTAs (to the media) on a blistering 85-degree May day in Florham Park. Robert Saleh officially got the party started on Monday, the day prior, but Tuesday marked the first media-attended OTA session.

The overall structure of the session can be described as standard.

After team stretches, the Jets broke into positionals. They then broke out into broader positionals that saw the quarterbacks work with the weapons (wide receivers, tight ends and running backs) against air, the defense work on some looks on the other field, and the offensive linemen remaining together to hit the sled.

The overall tempo of the OTA session was noteworthy. Focus and attention to detail were apparent, and few players loaded and/or joked around transparently.

OTA news and notes

As Jets X-Factor’s Rivka Boord mentioned earlier, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Mike Williams and Morgan Moses have yet to be cleared for practice, so all three didn’t participate in Tuesday’s OTA session.

Moreover, Breece Hall, Haason Reddick and Quinnen Williams were not present on Tuesday. However, left tackle Tyron Smith and Olu Fashanu did participate.

Speaking of Smith and Fashanu, both players are noticeable when the offensive linemen get together for positionals. Smith’s raw talent and technique are indeed hall-of-fame worthy, and his brick-road stature cannot help but shine even in positional drills.

At safety, Tony Adams, Chuck Clark and Ashtyn Davis were seen in a firm rotation at safety.

Sauce Gardner vs. Garrett Wilson

The outside battle that continues to marvel all onlookers is that of Sauce Gardner vs. Garrett Wilson.

On one particular play, Gardner’s positioning was too much for Wilson and Rodgers to overcome. However, despite decent coverage, Wilson and Rodgers got the better of the man the kids call Sauce.

As seen in the above tweet, rookie Malachi Corley also sparkled a couple of times, most notably when he hauled in a huge gain on the second unit with Tyrod Taylor at the helm.

Speaking of Taylor, the veteran backup throws a wonderful deep ball. Although the career backup is prone to conservative play at times—which makes sense as an NFL backup—his deep ball speaks volumes.

One rep saw Taylor hit Irvin Charles in stride, down the sideline, in a 1v1 situation. Charles got just enough separation, and Taylor laid it out in front nicely.

Aaron Rodgers is still a tremendous QB

The top story of Jets OTAs is undoubtedly Aaron Rodgers’s sparkling play.

Great offensive coaches of yesteryear oftentimes proclaim that the ball should never hit the ground in 7v7 drills. Without live action and a pass rush, a sign of a great quarterback is that the ball never touches the ground in practice—and that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday.

Rodgers hit Garrett Wilson early and often, yet he also spread the ball around pretty nicely, even hitting Xazavien Valladay on a check-down (early in the team session) and Allen Lazard near the sideline on a quick-timing concept.

Why no Jets fan should worry about Rodgers

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