We know that if you put Aaron Rodgers in front of a microphone, it will be must-see television. Last night, the first episode of the latest season of HBO’s Hard Knocks featuring the New York Jets aired.
The bulk of the episode focused on the veteran quarterback and the time he spends with his new team. This is a side of Rodgers we often don’t get to see, and the content certainly did not disappoint.
Aaron Rodgers Believes in Sauce Gardner
There were many funny and interesting moments centered around Rodgers and his interactions with his new teammates, and we were able to see him engage with some old faces he’s reunited with as well.
From hugs with Randall Cobb to playful jabs at — and to the defense of — Nathaniel Hackett, there were plenty of moments in Episode 1 to dive into, but none were as eye-opening as Rodgers’ words of encouragement to cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner before kickoff of last week’s Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
— NFL (@NFL) August 9, 2023
That is an eyebrow-raising statement and certainly one of the biggest takeaways of last night’s Hard Knocks. The high praise for the second-year cornerback is certainly warranted, as the future for Gardner is extremely bright following a Rookie Defensive Player of the Year award win and a first-team All-Pro selection.
With all the awards and accolades Sauce accumulated in Year 1, you can count Rodgers as one of the many believers in Gardner’s corner, as well as a new friend as the courtship and admiration for one another seemed to begin before Rodgers even landed in New York.
Big Year 2 in Store for Gardner
According to Pro Football Focus, Gardner finished his rookie campaign with an 87.9 overall grade. He finished the season with two interceptions and only allowed 34 receptions on 74 targets while adding 60 tackles.
After just his first season in the NFL, Gardner was voted by his peers as the best cornerback in the league and has made quite the mark on the NFL after one season. The talent is obviously there, and Year 2 promises to be an exceptional one for Gardner and the rest of this extremely talented Jets defense.
To hear Rodgers, the shoo-in future Hall of Famer himself, speak as if Sauce was destined for the Hall of Fame after one year certainly feels like something that should be noted. While everything in New York is done in front of a massive crowd, this comment is surely to create buzz around the Big Apple — and with good reason.