Aaron Rodgers will get ‘butterflies’ out of the best way in Jets debut

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The second the Jets will keep in mind from Saturday evening was the primary landing cross Aaron Rodgers tossed whereas carrying their uniform. It was a reasonably throw into a decent window to his new No. 1 receiver and it fired their followers up.

However that is not the second that introduced the Jets’ followers to the perimeters of their seats.

That second got here one collection earlier, when new Giants linebacker Isaiah Simmons flushed the Jets’ prized possession from the pocket and despatched him on the run. Simmons even lunged at Rodgers, bought a chunk of his foot and despatched the 39-year-old quarterback stumbling in the direction of the sidelines.

It was sufficient to trigger 50 years of flashbacks for long-suffering Jets followers and everybody else related to a franchise that has at all times appeared cursed. It induced the 20,000 or so Jets followers at this Giants house sport to clutch their chests and maintain their breath.

Possibly the one one who noticed the brilliant facet was Jets coach Robert Saleh — the person who risked every thing by placing Rodgers into this meaningless preseason finale.

“It was good for him,” Saleh stated after the Jets completed off a 32-24 win over the Giants. “He wants a bit of that motion. It was good to indicate he nonetheless has mobility. He nonetheless has legs.”

Extra importantly, these legs are nonetheless in a single piece and so is Rodgers, the newest savior of this star-crossed franchise. He performed 10 performs on this sport and completed 5 of 8 for 47 yards, together with that pretty, 14-yard landing cross to Garrett Wilson.

However none of that mattered as a lot as the truth that he walked off the sphere below his personal energy and did not have to cease within the trainers’ room after the sport.

“I bought in. I did not get harm,” Rodgers stated when requested to evaluate his efficiency. “It was a great evening.”

The Jets after all hope that is the primary of many good nights — presumably sufficient to maintain them taking part in all the best way to Tremendous Bowl LVIII. That hope is why the selection to play Rodgers in what was his first preseason sport since 2018 appeared like such an pointless danger. Even worse, it was spit within the face of the Jets’ ugly historical past, the place they’ve confirmed to not be immunized in opposition to crushing accidents to their quarterbacks in preseason video games. Their diehards keep in mind how they misplaced beginning quarterback Chad Pennington to a fractured wrist within the annual Giants-Jets preseason sport in 2003, and the way they misplaced quarterback Mark Sanchez for the season to a shoulder damage when he was mindlessly despatched in to play within the fourth quarter of the Giants-Jets preseason sport in 2013.

It felt like tempting destiny to ship one other beginning quarterback out for this intra-city battle contemplating what appeared to be taking place each 10 years, like clockwork. Saleh defined it in the course of the week by saying “You possibly can’t coach scared. You possibly can’t play scared.”

Nonetheless, was there a Jets fan anyplace on the planet who did not spend Saturday evening fully scared?

However hey, all of it labored out. Rodgers is ok and he bought two entire collection with the beginning offense in opposition to a Giants protection made up of backups and different gamers who can be out of the NFL by the tip of the week. The season, the dream and the excitement that has made the Jets the discuss of New York all lives on.

Was it definitely worth the danger? Did Saleh get what he wished out of Rodgers’ time operating the offense?

Exhausting as it might be to imagine, his reply to each was: Sure.

“I believe all of it helps,” Saleh stated. “As a lot as we felt it could be good for him on the market, it was simply pretty much as good for his teammates (to get used to him). It might solely assist. Does it reply all our questions main into Sept. 11? No. However not less than it offers us a step in the suitable course.”

It was a small step, to make certain. The nice is that Rodgers confirmed he can nonetheless make some very fast and correct throws. He additionally confirmed some chemistry with Wilson — a mix the Jets are going to characteristic all 12 months lengthy. He confirmed wheels — considerably — when he bought away from the speedy Simmons (virtually). And whereas his landing cross to Wilson was helped by an undrafted rookie (Gemon Green) who did not hassle to look again on the ball, it was nonetheless a heck of a throw proper over the nook and proper into his receiver’s fingers.

And Rodgers bought what he admitted had been “butterflies” out of the best way, taking part in for a brand new staff and in a brand new metropolis for the primary time in his 19-year profession. He stated the standing ovation he bought from the group when he took the sphere loosened him up.

The gang, although, could not loosen up till he left the sphere after his second collection and did not head to the medical tent. Solely then might all of them lastly exhale.

So all of them dodged a bullet and prevented what would have been a really Jet-like disaster, which did certainly make this a great evening in New York. For what? That is tougher to say. It was a bit style for the followers who’re dreaming of the tip to a playoff drought that may be a dozen years and counting. It was a bit preview for the gamers who’ve thus far solely had the Aaron Rodgers expertise at observe.

But it surely wasn’t way more than that.

“It was a begin,” Saleh stated. “It does not imply a lot. We have got to see the place it goes.”

Ralph Vacchiano is the NFC East reporter for FOX Sports activities, masking the Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He spent the earlier six years masking the Giants and Jets for SNY TV in New York, and earlier than that, 16 years masking the Giants and the NFL for the New York Every day Information. Comply with him Twitter at @RalphVacchiano.

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Zach Wilson strong as backup as Jets start Aaron Rodgers period with loss to Browns in Corridor of Fame Recreation

Aaron Rodgers has but to throw a go in a recreation for the New York Jets. He is already chargeable for an extended completion.

Zach Wilson confirmed he can transfer New York’s offense as a backup quarterback, however the Jets kicked off the Rodgers Period with a 21-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday evening within the Corridor of Fame Recreation.

Wilson, whose struggles as a starter the previous two seasons despatched the Jets on a QB quest that ultimately received them Rodgers through commerce from Inexperienced Bay in April, had some optimistic moments throughout his three collection.

On his twenty fourth birthday, the No. 2 general decide within the 2021 draft was 3 of 5 passing for 65 yards. Wilson arrange the sport’s first rating with a 57-yard completion to wide receiver Malik Taylor — on a play steered by Rodgers.

“Nice name by Aaron Rodgers,” Wilson stated smiling. “I’ve to offer him a shoutout there. We had been backed up then and took the shot downfield. Malik’s executed nice job all camp and I wished to get a ball to him.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh was happy with Wilson’s efficiency.

“Zach did job, he was poised and regarded snug within the pocket,” he stated. “It is simply rebuilding that confidence and swag we (noticed) through the draft course of. No setbacks. It is all about confidence with him.”

It was a battle of rookies and reserves as each groups rested their starters within the NFL’s inaugural recreation of 2023.

There was a notable opening-night glitch as a power outage in Tom Benson Stadium prompted a few 20-minute delay between the third and fourth quarters.

Browns rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson rallied the Browns with a pair of second-half touchdowns. Thompson-Robinson, a fifth-round decide, threw a 22-yard TD pass to Austin Watkins Jr. with 9:33 left to place Cleveland forward.

Thompson-Robinson additionally threw a block that sprung Demetric Felton, his former UCLA teammate, for a 10-yard TD run.

“It was superior,” Felton stated. “It felt prefer it was again at UCLA. It was cool.”

Thompson-Robinson stated he was joyful to lend a shoulder.

“All instincts,” he stated. “I am on the market enjoying as exhausting as I can for my teammates. I seen Felt was going to chop again and form of how the opening was going to open up and all he had was one particular person to be again sideways was the nook. So I figured I would stick my nostril up there actual fast.”

Greg Zuerlein kicked discipline targets of 54, 44 and 53 yards and Israel Abanikanda had a 10-yard landing run for the Jets.

Rodgers was a high-profile spectator.

The four-time MVP watched from the sideline carrying black Jets gear and a headset, giving him extra the look of an assistant coach than star quarterback. On Wednesday, Rodgers toured the Corridor of Fame and received an up-close view of a spot the place he’ll someday be enshrined.

Earlier than that, he is presupposed to return New York’s franchise to glory.

The 39-year-old will not be anticipated to play this preseason — he hasn’t since 2018 — and stated earlier this week that upcoming joint practices towards Tampa Bay and Carolina will assist him put together for the Sept. 11 season opener towards Buffalo.

The Browns sat quarterback Deshaun Watson, who like Rodgers, is predicted to do large issues in his second yr with Cleveland.

Watson went 3-3 after coming back from his 11-game suspension in 2022 for violating the NFL’s private conduct coverage after he was accused by two dozen ladies of sexual harassment and assault throughout therapeutic massage remedy periods whereas he performed for Houston.

Kellen Mond began for the Browns and performed the primary half, going 7 of 12 for 49 yards with a TD go and an interception. Thompson-Robinson completed 8 of 11 for 82 yards.


As each groups shaped a tunnel close to midfield, this yr’s Corridor of Fame class was launched earlier than the opening kickoff.

After all, the largest ovation went to former Browns sort out Joe Thomas, who waved to the 1000’s of Cleveland followers packing Tom Benson Stadium.

New inductee DeMarcus Ware sang the nationwide anthem.


Each groups received a take a look at their respective huge tackles.

New York’s Mekhi Becton performed for the primary time for the reason that 2021 season opener. It has been an extended highway again for the 6-foot-7 Becton, who underwent a number of surgical procedures on his proper knee. He slimmed all the way down to 350 kilos after as soon as tipping the scales at 400.

Cleveland rookie Dawand Jones, only a tad greater than Becton at 6-8, 374, held his personal whereas enjoying all the recreation.


Greater than two dozen Corridor of Famers, most carrying their signature gold jackets, attended a tribute earlier within the day for legendary Browns operating again Jim Brown, who died in Could.

Brown was remembered for his soccer accomplishments, and far more.

Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis delivered probably the most impassioned remarks about Brown, who grew to become his mentor.

“He grew to become a father to the fatherless, gave hope when there wasn’t hope,” stated Lewis. “I’ve by no means met a higher particular person.”

The Browns wore “32” decals — Brown’s quantity — on their helmets for the primary time.


Jets: LB Hamsah Nasirildeen (neck) left after being damage on New York’s first defensive collection and did not return. … CB Brandin Echols (hip) and LB Chazz Surratt (hamstring) had been each dominated out after halftime. Surratt’s interception within the first half arrange New York’s TD. … LB Maalik Hall left within the fourth with an undisclosed harm.

Browns: WR Daylen Baldwin (hamstring) went out within the first half. He was focused as soon as. … CB Thomas Graham Jr. (ankle) did not play within the second half.

Reporting by The Related Press.

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Aaron Rodgers’ arrival in New York is like Brady’s in TB, Whitehead says

The New York Jets have Aaron Rodgers on their roster, and due to that, their odds to win the Tremendous Bowl have soared from the place they have been a 12 months in the past. 

A minimum of, that is what the oddsmakers are saying. However Jets followers and gamers have championship expectations as nicely. 

Simply ask security Jordan Whitehead, who in contrast Rodgers’ arrival in New York to that of a former teammate’s in his outdated hometown, Tampa Bay.

“It was sort of the identical scenario I fell into after I was the Bucs,” Whitehead mentioned this week. “We had an excellent protection the 12 months earlier than and we simply wanted one piece that was lacking. … I inform the blokes it is sort of like déjà vu for me.”

Jordan Whitehead compares Aaron Rodgers’ Jets to Tom Brady’s Bucs

New York Jets security Jordan Whitehead chimes in on Rodgers becoming a member of the group by evaluating it to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Bucs.

Famous Aaron Rodgers fan Craig Carton was in full settlement with Whitehead on his present Wednesday, and he expressed his confidence within the group’s capacity to realize a Lombardi trophy.

“Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Tampa Bay, Tremendous Bowl, Yahtzee!” Carton exclaimed.

“I’ll say this, the New York Jets’ protection, whereas they weren’t top-five statistically, they didn’t flip the ball over quite a bit. … In the event you have been to search for a knock, they weren’t a top-five protection when it got here to turnovers. However hear … He does not need to be Tom Brady. If he is Aaron Rodgers, they win the Tremendous Bowl. 

“[Whitehead] is evaluating a rock star to a rock star. Veteran to a veteran. Received a Tremendous Bowl earlier than, received a Tremendous Bowl earlier than. … It isn’t a knock to say a man’s not Tom Brady. Tom Brady’s a considered one of one. … Let’s all put Tom Brady over right here the place he belongs. [Aaron Rodgers] is cash.”

Plaxico Burress was not on the identical web page as his cohost.

“Jordan Whitehead, I would not go that far,” Burress dissented. “You want a couple of piece. You do not have a Rob Gronkowski, you do not have a Mike Evans. You do not have a Chris Godwin. And everyone knows that Aaron Rodgers ain’t no Tom Brady. … By any stretch of creativeness. And on high of that, the Bucs protection was higher than the Jets protection.”

Rodgers definitely has masses on strain on his shoulders as he takes over New York’s reins in 12 months 1. However is Whitehead proper to assign a Tremendous Bowl expectation to his new QB?

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Jets’ Aaron Rodgers: Gardner, Wilson could be the perfect at their positions

Aaron Rodgers has solely been with the New York Jets for six weeks, however he is seen sufficient to consider that two of the crew’s premier younger gamers, cornerback Sauce Gardner and extensive receiver Garrett Wilson, have an abundantly brilliant future.

Rodgers thinks that the Jets could quickly have the NFL‘s greatest extensive receiver and cornerback in Wilson and Gardner, which he expressed to the New York Submit on Friday.

“We’ve obtained, in some unspecified time in the future presumably, the perfect nook and the perfect receiver within the NFL,” Rodgers said. “It’s a legit risk I believe for these two guys. Perhaps not this upcoming 12 months – I nonetheless suppose Davante [Adams] is in a league of his personal – however these two youngsters are so proficient.”

Rodgers, a Tremendous Bowl MVP, four-time NFL MVP and 10-time Professional Bowler, stated that Wilson often makes a play in observe that makes him go, “Wow!”

Gardner and Wilson are just one season into their respective NFL careers, because the Jets drafted the previous with the No. 4 choose within the 2022 NFL Draft out of Cincinnati and the latter with the No. 10 pick of Ohio State in the identical draft. Each gamers appeared in 17 video games and received Rookie of the Yr on their facet of the ball.

Gardner totaled two interceptions, 20 passes defensed and 75.0 mixed tackles and was a part of a Jets protection that surrendered simply 189.4 passing yards (third in NFL) and 18.6 factors (fourth) per sport. 

In the meantime, Wilson totaled 83 receptions for 1,103 yards and 4 touchdowns, all of which led the crew, in a season that noticed the Jets begin 4 quarterbacks (Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, Mike White and Chris Streveler).

Rodgers sees the second-year gamers pushing one another in observe.

“How we take the following step is to speak concerning the issues that give us essentially the most points,” Rodgers stated. “To speak about launch points [caused by Gardner] and likewise what’s laborious on Garrett, after which Sauce telling Garrett what’s laborious on him. I believe proper now, we obtained good communication with these guys. They battle, they compete.”

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Jets GM Joe Douglas tells followers Aaron Rodgers is ‘gonna be right here’

Relaxation assured, Jets followers, Aaron Rodgers remains to be on monitor to land in New York this offseason.

No less than that is the message Jets normal supervisor Joe Douglas shared Friday, whilst a commerce nonetheless hasn’t been agreed upon after weeks of discussions with the Green Bay Packers.

“He is gonna be right here,” Douglas mentioned at an Audacy WFAN Sports activities Radio occasion when requested if Rodgers was going to be on the Jets.

Douglas’ response drew a loud roar from the New York crowd. 

The quote from the final supervisor got here after a few attention-grabbing developments surrounding Rodgers’ attainable future with the workforce  earlier within the week. First, the Jets signed quarterback Tim Boyle to a one-year deal on Thursday. Boyle backed up Rodgers for 3 seasons in Inexperienced Bay, so New York signing him offers it an possibility at backup that is accustomed to Nathaniel Hackett’s system.

Additionally on Thursday, Allen Lazard shared photos of a training session with Rodgers. The huge receiver, who performed with the Packers for the final 5 seasons, signed a four-year deal to hitch the Jets in March because it seems to be increasingly more seemingly that he’ll nonetheless play with Rodgers.

Rodgers acknowledged in March that his intention is to play for the Jets in 2023 after he met with among the workforce’s high officers at his house in California. That received the ball rolling for the commerce that hasn’t occurred but.

Douglas instructed reporters on the annual league assembly in late March that there had been “some productive conversations” with the Packers at that time however he did not set a tough deadline to get a deal accomplished. Jets coach Robert Saleh expressed confidence a deal would get executed throughout the identical week.

“You guys know me, I am a constructive thinker,” Saleh mentioned. “I am positive ultimately they’re going to determine one thing out.”

Packers normal supervisor Brian Gutekunst instructed reporters on the similar conferences that it is not a “necessity” for them to amass the Jets’ first-round decide, which is No. 13 general, in a deal for Rodgers. Nonetheless, Gutekunst additionally mentioned that he thinks the workforce can afford to let negotiations bleed into Could and June, when the majority of the offseason applications happen.

“There’s not a lot occurring proper now,” Gutekunst mentioned. “So, I believe it has to work for each events, and we’re each dedicated to figuring that out. It is actually form of of their courtroom proper now, so we’ll form of see the place it goes.”

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