It came far later than normal, but the New York Jets are back on Hard Knocks for the second time in franchise history.
HBO’s Emmy-award-winning television series has been something most teams, including the Jets, have been trying to avoid. Only four teams were eligible for the hit show that has given fans unprecedented access to organizations as they prepare for the NFL season.
But just because the team believes that they don’t need the distraction on their hands, doesn’t mean the Jets will struggle in 2023. In fact, if the last time the team was on the show was any indication, the Jets could be reaching new heights heading into the new season.
Rex Ryan’s 2010 Jets won 11 games and reached the AFC Championship game for the second straight year months after being on Hard Knocks. Ryan’s defense was among the elite, and their offense was full of talented individuals. Just average quarterback play was able to allow the Jets to beat both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back-to-back road playoff games.
With Aaron Rodgers in tow, an increase in productivity at the quarterback position is expected, while expectations are thought to be even higher going into the new season. Rodgers joins a team with both offensive and defensive Rookies of the Year, a top-five defense, an improved rushing attack, and an energetic coaching staff.
The similarities are certainly there from the Jets’ last playoff team – even if head coach Robert Saleh isn’t the same boastful personality that Ryan used to be.
New York has consistently said they do not want to be on Hard Knocks this season. With under a week before the start of their camp, they still have to lock up All-Pro defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to a long-term deal, while the aura of Rodgers means that there will be plenty of eyes on 1 Jets Drive.
How the team responds though will be the big question. If it’s anything like in the franchise’s past though, being on Hard Knocks means the organization will be in for a special year.
Gang Green opens up training camp next week at Florham Park.