Rodgers is ‘last man standing among older QBs
As New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers enters the NFL season under a microscope, Mike Florio wonders if the veteran QB still scares defenses the way he used to while Chris Simms believes Rodgers will play more aggressively.
Though they eventually came around to the idea, Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets initially didn’t seem interested in doing HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this fall.
The one thing that Rodgers was excited about with the iconic documentary, however, was meeting narrator Liev Schreiber.
In the first episode of the season Tuesday night, which was an in-depth look at Rodgers’ arrival to the Jets this summer, that was more than clear. Rodgers seemed almost starstruck when Schreiber arrived at training camp via helicopter. Rodgers introduced himself right away and then tried to get just about everyone he could find to go do the same thing.
“It’s the voice of God! You guys didn’t say hi? Go say hi! It’s the voice of God!” he excitedly told his fellow quarterbacks, before trying to convince offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to do the same.
“Go say hi! Don’t be an ass****,” he told Hackett. “He’s nervous, he wants to meet people.”
Schreiber, the longtime voice of the HBO show, broke the barrier and seemed almost equally as excited to meet Rodgers. That, though, was about it. Most people quickly moved on.
“I had no idea you were the voice of ‘Hard Knocks,’” Saleh told Schreiber.
“My mom said she doesn’t even recognize my voice,” Schreiber replied.
Schreiber, after thanking Rodgers for being excited about him coming to camp, quickly asked Rodgers why he wasn’t interested in having the show around.
“I think people are worried about it being a distraction,” Rodgers told him. “There’s a lot of misnomers about it. I’ve had a great experience.”
That’s pretty much what Rodgers said last month, too, though it didn’t come out anywhere near as nice.
“I understand the appeal with us,” Rodgers said while playing at the American Century Championship. “There’s a lot of eyes on me. A lot of eyes on our team. A lot of expectations for our squad. They forced it down our throats and we gotta deal with it.”
Schreiber was the one upside for him.
Rodgers, however, seemed to be fully embracing the “Hard Knocks” cameras — and his new role with the Jets — early on.
The episode showed plenty of Rodgers settling in with the Jets in their preseason opener, including his relationship with backup quarterback Zach Wilson, who lost his starting job last season before Rodgers’ arrival. Rodgers was seen working with and mentoring Wilson.
Rodgers, after spending his entire career with the Green Bay Packers, was traded to the Jets in April. The 39-year-old brought with him plenty of expectations to a franchise that hasn’t been to the playoffs in more than a decade.
This season for the Jets, for better or for worse, is going to be all about Rodgers. “Hard Knocks,” at least so far, is fully embracing that fact.