Week five can’t get here fast enough.
Three days after very critical comments from Broncos coach Sean Payton to Jarrett Bell by USA today about former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett became the biggest story in the NFL and two days after Payton expressed “sorry” for his “mistake,” Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.
Rodgers, appearing on NFL+, the league’s struggling in-house streaming service to which more content is now being pushed, said Payton should “keep my coaches names out of his mouth.” Rodgers also called Payton’s comments “very surprising, for a coach to do that to another coach.” Rodgers described Payton as “insecure” and theorized that he is setting himself up “for kind of an easy fall if things don’t go well for that team this year.”
“I thought it was way out of line (and) inappropriate,” Rodgers added.
On the same day Payton’s description of Hackett’s performance as perhaps one of the worst coaching jobs in NFL history made waves, Jets coach Robert Saleh had a surprisingly calm, measured response regarding the shots fired at his new offensive coordinator.
Rodgers has a high degree of loyalty to Hackett. When Hackett took the Denver job last year, many believed Rodgers would be traded to Denver in 2022.
Now Rodgers and Hackett are together in New York. Ten weeks from today, they travel to Denver to face Payton and the Broncos.
After Payton said what he said, some in the media suggested it was all intentional and deliberate by Payton. It wasn’t.
For Rodgers, who had three days to process, consider and plan, what he said was certainly strategic — especially since the question he was asked (“I’m not going to ask you about Sean Payton’s comments directly”) specifically sought to avoid a response from Rodgers to Payton.