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I don’t agree with this . . .
A friend of mine retweeted a gentleman named Arash Madani, who tweeted, “NY Jets putting together an offense that should contend for the Super Bowl in 2019.”
I wasn’t familiar with Madani, so I Googled him, and found out he’s been a sportscaster with Sportsnet in Canada since 2009.
This article isn’t about Madani, who seems like a good guy, but more about the perception of Aaron Rodgers as a player. Surely the Jets’ interest in Rodgers’ favorite, slot receiver Randall Cobb, who will turn 33 in August, and tight end Marcedes Lewis, who will turn 39 in May, also led to that tweet.
However, they did agree to terms with 27-year-old WR Allen Lazard today, so this will not be just a Green Bay Golden Oldies Tour coming to Florham Park.
But let’s stick to Rodgers for a minute.
The first thing I thought of when reading the re-tweet was the fact that Rodgers won the NFL MVP in both 2020 and ’21, the two seasons obviously after 2019.
But even if you think he slipped a little last year, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all from Week 5 on, Rodgers was playing with an avulsion fracture in his throwing thumb, an injury that causes the ligament to rip away from where it’s attached, taking some bone with it. He played with it for the rest of the season. A lot of players have surgery for that.
Secondly, his offensive line was a mess most of last season, and you might have noticed that in the Jets’ win at Lambeau Field, when Rodgers was sacked 4 times, hit 9 times, and pressured more than 20 times. Left tackle David Baktiari was in and out of the lineup due to a knee issue, and right tackle Billy Turner, was also lot hurt a lot. They moved right guard Elgton Jenkins out to right tackle, and his replacement at right guard struggled.
Thirdly, it took a while for his two rookie receivers, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, to get comfortable in the NFL, coming out of non-power five programs, North Dakota State and Nevada, respectfully. These weren’t Ohio State or LSU receivers coming out ready to roll, like Garrett Wilson/Chris Olave and J’Mar Chase/Justin Jefferson. And one thing about quarterbacks like Rodgers and the now-retired Tom Brady, if they don’t trust you to be where you are supposed to be, they aren’t going to throw to you.
And according to NFL Network’s David Carr, Rodgers didn’t think Matt LaFleur did a very good job calling plays last year.
So there was a lot of stuff going on last year.
Has Rodgers slipped a little, now at age of 39? Perhaps, but as the old cliche goes, “Rodgers at 75 percent is better than most quarterbacks.”
And let’s not forget, they won four of their last five regular-season games last year with Rodgers at QB.
I think a key to Rodgers’ success with the Jets if he is traded to them, is letting him go to the line and check off to whatever he wants to, and Nate Hackett will let him do that. Rodgers is brilliant at pre-snap reads.
Rodgers and LaFleur seemed to be butting heads a lot last year.
Just let him go the line and do his thing.
So much of quarterbacks being successful in their late 30s is their mental acuity after so many years of playing the position.
March 14, 2023
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