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By: Billy Riccette
Yet another chapter has been written in what has already become quite a story in the Sean Payton saga following his comments on Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. This time, it’s the big man on campus for New York, quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Jets’ quarterback recently spoke with Peter Schrager of NFL Network and went in on the Broncos head coach for saying Hackett performed “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL” last week in an interview with USA Today’s Jarrett Bell.
Rodgers defended Hackett, his former offensive coordinator for three seasons in Green Bay before he became the Broncos head coach last year. He thought Payton’s comments were very surprising that a coach would say something like that about another coach.
“It made me feel bad that someone who has accomplished a lot in the league is that insecure that they have to take another man down to set themselves up for some easy fall if it doesn’t go well for that team this year,” Rodgers told Schrager. “I think it was way out of line, inappropriate, and I think he needs to keep my coaches’ names out of his mouth.”
Rodgers made it no secret that Hackett joining the Jets was among the key reasons he wanted to be traded to the Jets this offseason. Rodgers and Hackett have a strong relationship, so for Rodgers, it was like someone went after his brother.
“He’s arguably my favorite coach I’ve ever had in the NFL,” Rodgers told Schrager. “Just his approach to it. He makes it fun, how he cares about the guys, just how he goes about his business with respect, with leadership, with honesty, with integrity.”
Payton did backtrack on his comments, but not before Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive tackle Billy Turner, who played for Hackett in Green Bay and Denver, also responded to Payton.
The fireworks continue to grow for the Week 5 meeting in Denver, especially now that Rodgers has spoken.
“I think he needs to keep my coaches’ names out of his mouth.”
The full Aaron Rodgers response to @PSchrags on Sean Payton’s comments — exclusively on NFL+. pic.twitter.com/ZcCSW8iTuW
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 30, 2023
Originally posted on Jets Wire