In a fresh twist, Aaron Rodgers, the celebrated quarterback known for his exploits with the Green Bay Packers, encountered a taste of the trials previous New York Jets quarterbacks underwent. His first face-off against another team in the Jets' colors wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.
Pressure from the Panthers
Wednesday's joint practice with the Carolina Panthers saw Rodgers and the Jets' offense under significant duress. The relentless pressure from the Panthers' pass rush resulted in an unsettling end to the day, culminating in an underwhelming three-and-out during a critical two-minute drill.
This performance seemed out of character for Rodgers, known for his resilience and adaptability on the field. Center Connor McGovern didn't mince words, expressing the collective frustration of the team: "You can't go three-and-out in a two-minute drive like that.
... I think there was disappointment from the whole team." To contrast, Panthers' rookie quarterback Bryce Young showcased a remarkable drive, marching the length of the field and setting up a successful field goal attempt against the Jets' primary defense.
However, the ever-composed Rodgers wasn't overly troubled by the day's events. "I thought we maybe didn't have the same type of energy [as Carolina], for whatever reason, at the start of practice," he reflected. Acknowledging the shortcomings in pass protection, he was quick to point out the positives: "I thought it was good to be out there against a different defense.
I thought we handled the front pretty well in the run game."
Rodgers' Leadership in New Territory
The transition to a new team, along with adapting to a new playbook, is never easy. Despite the setbacks, Rodgers has consistently shown support and patience with his teammates.
His encouraging demeanor has been a focal point, as wide receiver Corey Davis noted: "He's been real patient, real lenient with us, and working with us and making sure we get everything down, which is what we need." However, Davis also hinted that this patience might have its limits, especially if progress stagnates. "But I could imagine it going the other way if it doesn't pick up."