Is Aaron Rodgers going to do too much?
The New York Jets have undoubtedly turned to Aaron Rodgers to be the face of the franchise, the man to change their on-field results and overall team culture. He’s not got a lot of time left in his career, so he’s going to try to win, he wouldn’t waste his end years if he didn’t think he could make a difference. But…is he going to do too much? Speaking up for his coach, and leading the team, is he going to dress his teammates too?
“Keep my coaches' names out of your mouth” was the utterance that echoed around the NFL social media spheres at the end of July. Rodgers spoke up for Nathaniel Hackett, one of his new coaches at the New York Jets who had been heavily criticized by a former colleague, Sean Payton. While it’s nice that Rodgers cares about his coach the timing presents more questions than answers. Rodgers’ reply came long before Hackett himself spoke on the issue, suggesting that there’s a shift in the power dynamic. Sure, Robert Saleh spoke about the matter before Rodgers but dealt with it as effectively as an old damp rag trying to mop up a soaking floor. Essentially prompting the QB to chime in, making a mountain of out a molehill.
Sure, this echoes a lot of the summer chatter about the franchise anyway. They, just like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have brought in a top-tier, legendary-status QB who is discontent with his one-team status and wants a fresh challenge. It’s a re-run of the Tom Brady Show. The problem is that the Jets are a lot worse now than the Bucs were when they acquired Brady. Tom took them to another level, winning the Super Bowl in his first year – but Rodgers will need to get the Jets out of second gear first. While he wasn’t the very best version of himself for the last few seasons (either on or off the field) with the Green Bay Packers, he’s still Aaron Rodgers. That’s vindicated by the bookmakers internationally bumping up their preseason odds for the Jets in the 2023 Super Bowl when it was apparent he’d be joining the team.
Hold on a minute. He’s been brought in to make them better, pretty much by himself? He’s speaking up for the coaching staff? Is he going to lead the warm-up and cool-down? Will he be sending out tweets (or whatever it is calling itself now) on behalf of the social media team? Heaven forbid the Thanksgiving Game when Robert Saleh gets him to makes sure the turkey is basted every half an hour.
There’s a certain amount of frivolity here but ultimately he’s probably just overstepping the mark of what is needed. He’s just a nice guy using his media celebrity status to help out a coach who has come under fire. NFL purists might brush it off as a non-story but if not quashed now, it could become that Rodgers keeps going over the line, and he’ll end up towing said Jets hierachy line. Will the Jets fans care too much if his face replaces the team badge? They could do… but if he wins them the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969, they may welcome it.