The New York Jets wrapped up OTAs on Friday, and with the team having called off mandatory minicamp, the players will have a nice little break here in the month of June. It was a curious decision considering the fact that the Jets are implementing a new offense with a new quarterback, but Aaron Rodgers told reporters that the players appreciated the decision.
"I like where we're at," Rodgers said. "And I appreciate -- as every player does -- that Rob (Saleh) cut the last week. You know we have the first preseason game that everybody loves with the Hall of Fame Game. Which means we come back a week early. So giving us some more time out of the building I think is really important for guys to at least take a week to vacation, to clear their head before they get back into their schedule of offseason training."
Rodgers said he's headed back to the West Coast to continue his training, but that he's enjoyed settling in with his new team. From what he's seen so far, he's excited about what the Jets can be in 2023.
"The last six weeks have been about the most fun I've had in awhile," said Rodgers. "It's fun to come to work and be excited about what we're doing."
One reason Rodgers is excited is because he has a new No. 1 wideout in reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson. The Ohio State product led all first-year receivers with 83 catches for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns last season, and Rodgers said he delivers a "wow" moment at least once every practice.
"I love Garrett," said Rodgers. "I mean awesome, awesome young kid. The whole world in front of him. He's got all the talent and ability. You need your best players to be the best people on your team. He's definitely one of them. Love spending time with him, love just watching him."
Perhaps one of the more interesting comments Rodgers made Friday had to do with his backup, Zach Wilson. Rodgers said the former No. 2 overall pick hasn't made his life "hell" , but that he's been "a joy to work with." What was notable was that Rodgers said apart from winning games for the Jets, his job is to make sure Wilson is ready to take over one day.
"He's been in my hip pocket learning," said Rodgers. "Ton of questions in the locker room, in the meeting room, after hours. And I love that, because I feel like that's a big part of my role here is to not just play at a super high level for this team and help us win, but to make sure he's ready when his time comes and I really enjoy that opportunity."
Rodgers, by all accounts, has been very hands-on with the Jets' install. He'sand even attended an offensive line meeting to go over calls and cadences. New offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said the offense is still far away from where they want to be, but Rodgers disagrees. He smiled at reporters, calling Hackett's comments "coach talk."
"As opposed to what Hack said -- and I love Hack --I think we're exactly where we need to be right now."