Jets’ quarterbacks have rediscovered their love for football ahead of 2023 season

Jets quarterbacks having fun
New York Jets quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, left, and Zach Wilson warm-up at the NFL football team’s training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photos

FLORHAM PARK — A new energy continues to roam the halls of 1 Jets Drive and it’s had a profound impact on the quarterback room for Gang Green. 

Both Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson may be on two different ends of their careers, but a common theme has crept amongst the two friends since the trade that brought the four-time NFL MVP to New York this offseason.

Football is fun again. 

“The last six weeks have been the most fun I’ve had in a while,” Rodgers said after voluntary OTAs Friday. “It’s fun to come to work and be excited about what we’re doing. We have a great quarterback room, it’s nice to work with Zach.”

The mystique of Rodgers has certainly changed things for the Jets this offseason, but his impact has had an even greater impact on his young backup.

Before Rodgers came to town, the Jets and Zach Wilson were seemingly at an impasse. Wilson’s numbers were abysmal through the first two years as an NFL quarterback, and his confidence appeared to be nonexistent as the Jets’ losses piled up. There had been talk that New York would even consider moving on from the former second-overall pick at one point following a disappointing 7-10 finish in 2022. With Rodgers now in tow, the pressure has fallen off Wilson for the first time since his career began, and it’s allowed him to rediscover the reason why he comes to work every day. 

“I think right now I’m having a ton of fun, more fun than I’ve ever had. There’s so much to learn,” Wilson explained. “I think when things haven’t gone well it just snowballs…it’s good to have a reset for everyone.”

Wilson has been commended for how he’s handled the entrance to Rodgers in New York. The former BYU standout has been attentive in meetings and a sponge when learning the new system that Nathaniel Hackett has been looking to run in 2023. Because of having a new offensive coordinator, the Jets are looking to break their former franchise quarterback down and rebuild him in a way that would turn him into a great solid quarterback going forward. 

And having a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback to guide him certainly doesn’t hurt. 

“Of course, I wish things were different the past few years but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I’m very appreciative of him (Rodgers) and how much he’s willing to help me,” Wilson said of his relationship with Rodgers while comparing him to a “big brother.”

In turn, Rodgers has been extremely impressed with the young quarterback. 

“He’s been incredible. He hasn’t made my life hell but he’s been a joy to work with,” Rodgers said of Wilson. “He and I had a good friendship coming in. I have a lot of love for him and even more respect for how he’s handled things. 

 While Wilson was almost run out of town in New York, the last few years haven’t been the easiest for the new starting quarterback either. Rodgers is two years removed from being a back-to-back NFL MVP but is 7-9 in the postseason since his Super Bowl victory in 2010. 

After a rough final year in Green Bay where the Packers missed the postseason, a change of scenery seemed necessary for the 39-year-old phenom. Reconnecting with his old friend in Hackett, while creating new friendships with Wilson has shown Rodgers that he still has much to offer the game of football. 

“The fun part of walkthroughs is you can test (young players) on signals, cadence, slight adjustments. It’s been good, guys have picked it up good. You always have to temper expectations…I like where we’re at” Rodgers concluded.  

New York Jets Aaron Rodgers, left, and Sauce Gardner pretend to smoke as they greet one another at the NFL football team’s training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Rodgers and Wilson have rediscovered their love for the game of football again. The next stage for them and the rest of the Jets roster will be to prepare for training camp next month, and the start of a new NFL season. 

For more New York Jets news, turn to AMNY.com