Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets returned to HBO’s Hard Knocks in an episode that covered Gang Green’s joint practices and preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. Last week’s episode featured a lot of Rodgers, a humbled Zach Wilson, and narrator Liev Schreiber breaking the fourth wall.
What did Tuesday night’s episode have in store?
Best Moments From Episode 2 of Hard Knocks
Jets Players Amazed by Mentalist Oz Pearlman
Episode 2 opened with a performance by mentalist/magician Oz Pearlman, who pulled off a few tricks that we frankly can’t explain.
Pearlman correctly guessed running back Michael Carter would wear the No. 10 if he were allowed to pick any number. Then, he somehow correctly predicted that wide receiver Mecole Hardman would project a 31-21 Jets victory over the San Francisco 49ers in next year’s Super Bowl.
#Jets WR Mecole Hardman was asked by Oz Pearlman to predict who’d be in the Super Bowl and what the final score would be: He had Jets over 49ers, 31-21.
Pearlman already had his mind read. 🤯
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 16, 2023
Pearlman then moved on to Rodgers, correctly identifying which playing card the future Hall of Fame quarterback was thinking of before throwing in some more sleight-of-hand tricks.
— Max (@StreamOnMax) August 15, 2023
Jets defensive lineman Micheal Clemons couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) August 16, 2023
Aaron Rodgers and Other Jets QBs Critiquing Play-Action Fakes
Jets passing game coordinator Todd Downing, in his first year in New York after being let go as the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator, found a couple of ways to lighten the atmosphere in the Jets’ quarterbacks room.
First, Downing’s QBs assess each other’s play-action fakes. Showing the room two clips side-by-side, Downing forced the quarterbacks to guess which was a run-fake and which was an actual run play — the idea being that the two actions should be so similar that no observer should be able to tell.
Rodgers, as he is at most things in the NFL world, proved to be the best.
— NFL (@NFL) August 16, 2023
Later, Downing attempted to introduce New York’s younger quarterbacks to the career of Leslie Nielsen with a presentation entitled “Cinema Sunday: Educating an Underprivileged Generation in the Art of Moving Pictures.”
Downing uttered a sentence perhaps not heard in an NFL locker room this century: “You guys need to know who Leslie Nielsen is.”
Robert Saleh Calls Out Jets Offensive Line in Passionate Speech
The Jets have one of the best rosters in football. Their defense was among the league’s elite in 2022, and the addition of Rodgers only makes an offense featuring Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, and others more formidable.
But New York still has a glaring issue along its offensive line, and head coach Robert Saleh wasn’t afraid to sound off on the club’s underwhelming front five.
Wow #Jets HC Robert Saleh went off on his OL after the joint practice vs #Panthers & questioned their effort 😳 ‘you can have a Hall of Fame quarterback, you can have two $10 million dollar plus receivers, you can have a reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, you can have all… pic.twitter.com/L4JxG8Afkx
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) August 16, 2023
New York is still trying to figure out who will start at offensive tackle, while the team also has an ongoing competition at center. Saleh seems to know the offensive line is a weak spot on the Jets’ roster and is searching for someone to step up.
Robert Saleh not hiding from the fact that the #Jets O-Line is a problem. That speech in Carolina to the team was interesting.
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) August 16, 2023
Rodgers Is Particular About His Centers’ Snaps
Rodgers knows what he likes in a snap. He’s not afraid to get comfortable under center, telling Jets offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer, “I’m in there a little deeper than some guys,” when waiting for a snap.
Hearing Aaron Rodgers talk to his center about how he wants his snaps is exactly what Hard Knocks should be giving us. Love it
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) August 16, 2023
“Little bit late, little swirly,” Rodgers said as he critiqued Schweitzer’s snaps. “Just try to throw a dead one back to me. Tumble it, whatever.
“Spiral is the worst one for me. I don’t want a spiral. And a couple of ’em were a little bit late, Wes.”