Aaron Rodgers may be new to the New York Jets this season, but he’s no stranger to leading a formidable offense. For him, a little time and continuity could be the keys to giving “Gang Green” just that.
The 2010 Super Bowl MVP has yet to play this preseason, but he believes the struggles of his offensive line are a “work in progress,” and he has a “pretty low” level of concern when it comes to them.
This response from Rodgers comes after a week of questions surrounding the Jets following the most recent episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” After a 21-16 preseason loss to the Browns and training camp woes on the offensive side, head coach Robert Saleh challenged the “big boys up front” ahead of a matchup against the Carolina Panthers using some harsh words.
“Offense, guys, it was our first f—ing opportunity to change the stink that’s been in this organization for a very long time on the offensive side of the ball. You can have a Hall of Fame quarterback, two $10 million-plus receivers, a reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, all kinds of skill in the running back room and none of it f—ing matters until the big boys up front change who the f— we are.”
Robert Saleh expresses frustration with Jets o-line on ‘Hard Knocks’
The team went on to beat the Panthers 27-0, but reports of struggles continued on Wednesday following the team’s joint practice session with the Buccaneers, who they face on Saturday.
When asked directly about the OL issues, Rodgers reminded reporters of key players’ injuries and the time needed to get new guys consistent reps together to develop the necessary chemistry.
Left tackle Duane Brown and guards Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker have been out due to injury, and the Jets have struggled to find continuity elsewhere, rotating in potential spot-fillers like 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton, who has struggled to stay healthy.
“[Someone] asked a question about the continuity of the guys playing together, and I was thinking maybe we’d start to figure some of the stuff out,” Rodgers said. “Obviously, it hasn’t happened yet.
“We need to figure things out, so we can get guys … at least get a week or two … playing next to each other,” Rodgers said.
As the regular season approaches, Rodgers hopes the team can pull together a solid blocking squad sooner rather than later.
“There’s jobs up for grabs. So that’s the beauty in camp but also the struggle. In talking with a couple of the guys, we just need some continuity, I think, at some point, so guys can feel comfortable playing together. Maybe that’s the end of next week. Maybe that’s the week that we have in between the season and the last preseason game, but jobs are up for grabs.”
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