The 39-year-old quarterback realizes that he is much closer to the end of his career than the beginning. After practice on Thursday, July 20 he delivered a very stern indirect message to his teammates about accountability.
“[I’m] testing the guys every single day because I don’t like wasting reps. So if we’re going to be out here whether it’s a walkthrough rep or an individual rep, let’s make sure we’re getting something out of it.”
Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson later added at his press conference that Rodgers “doesn’t slouch on any details, he doesn’t beat around the bush, he’s straightforward, he’s going to tell you what you gotta work on and do better. That’s how I want it.”
Rodgers Playing Role of Player and Coach With Jets
Rodgers can’t afford to waste any time. He spent the first 18 years of his career with the Green Bay Packers and he appears rejuvenated over the last couple of months he has spent in New York.
It’s still unclear if Rodgers will be one-and-done in 2023 or if he will ultimately be here for the next handful of years.
So time is of the essence and the Jets are attempting to take full advantage of that. Gang Green was the first team to report for training camp because of their scheduled participation in the Hall of Fame game on Thursday, August 3 against the Cleveland Browns.
Rodgers is making everyone better around him. Not just on offense, but also on defense as well.
Head coach Robert Saleh highlighted something that has stood out to him thus far in training camp:
“I love the way he messes with the defense. Ya know looking at the safety and telling him to come on down, I know you’re coming, when we’re trying to disguise and it makes me laugh,” Saleh said during his Thursday, July 20 presser.
“He [Rodgers] is a coach that can still play football.”
That was apparent out on the practice field and goes back to Rodgers holding his teammates accountable.
“Rodgers pulled aside Garrett Wilson on the field for a brief conversation Thursday after the second-year receiver said he ‘busted a play,’ noting that Rodgers calmly explained what should’ve happened on the play,” Cimini documented.
Jets Are Embracing Super Bowl or Bust Mentality
When Rodgers was asked about the Super Bowl expectations and his teammates openly talking about it in press conferences he was thrilled, “Yeah that’s spectacular.”
“That’s what you want,” Rodgers told the media. “You want to be part of a place that has high expectations and there’s a lot of positivity around here which I think is a good thing but we have to temper expectations early on in camp. [We have to] focus on the little things to get there.”
If the Jets want to make the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl, the key is finding consistency.
Gang Green started off hot in 2022 with a 6-3 record, but they fizzled down the stretch losing six games in a row.
One of the popular excuses people pointed to was the poor quarterback play. This offseason the Jets acquired one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
“All last year what was it? If we had a quarterback we [the Jets] would be winning the division. We’d be smoking Buffalo. New England wouldn’t even be in the picture. We could deal with Kansas City. We can deal with Cincy. We’d be as good as anybody. Well, what did they do this offseason?
They went all in, they got the four-time MVP, he brought his offensive coordinator, he brought a couple of his boys, they have firepower on the perimeter, they’ve got a shutdown caliber defense, no win the Super Bowl or shut up. It’s simple as that,” Louis Riddick of ESPN passionately explained.
In other words, it is put up or shut up time for the Jets. They don’t have the quarterback crutch excuse to point to in 2023 if things don’t work out. Rodgers has to be the difference in this team going from meh to great this season for the team to take the proper leap people are expecting.