Skip to main content

Jets QB Aaron Rodgers on 2024 outlook: 'If I'm on the field and doing what I'm capable of doing ... we've always got a chance'

When it comes to Aaron Rodgers, there's never any lack of confidence or motivating factors.

Despite a New York Jets season overflowing with expectations getting hobbled before it ever got going in 2023, Rodgers remains supremely confident and is embracing the win-now demand of the upcoming campaign.

"I'm always confident, you know me, I feel like if I'm on the field and doing what I'm capable of doing, No. 1, we've always got a chance," Rodgers said this week on Adam Schein's SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio. "And No. 2, more than that, we're one of those, you know, half dozen to 10 teams that can actually win a championship this year. So that's what's exciting."

On paper, the Jets do have a roster ready to contend, but that was much the same a season ago.

Then just four snaps into Rodgers' much-ballyhooed Jets debut in a Monday night affair with the Buffalo Bills, his Achilles tore, his season ended and the Gang Green faithful found its collective hopes dashed. That wasn't, of course, the end-all be-all of the season. Rodgers flirted with an improbable comeback, the Jets won some games, lost more, the defense shined and the Zach Wilson-quarterbacked offense sputtered.

But with a glass-half-full view, Rodgers believes there are positives to be taken from the team having gone through the travails of a lost season.

Nonetheless, with head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett back after the 7-10 season and Rodgers' return getting closer by the day, the expectations are great once more and the weight on the season ahead has increased.

"We dealt with a lot of adversity on and off the field last year," Rodgers said. "Not just the injuries, but there's, you know, a lot of comments that were said, a lot of things that were kind of out there. And I think in those times of adversity, we really kind of see what kind of character we have. And I'm proud of the way that we kept it together. I'm proud of guys rallying around coach Saleh and coach Hackett. And there's a lot of belief. There's obviously a lot of urgency. I talked about it the other day, you know, some people don't like talking about the urgency and the expectation and how our jobs are on the line every year. But that's just the reality in this league."

Urgency abounds in the Big Apple, but perhaps nobody is and will be more scrutinized than Hackett.

Having been the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator when Rodgers won back-to-back Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player accolades in 2020-2021, Hackett accepted the Denver Broncos head coaching job in 2022. He was joined by Russell Wilson and the results were disastrous. Hackett didn't last a full season, Denver was dead last in points scored and Wilson was released this past offseason.

Hackett found his way to New York to rejoin Rodgers, who was traded from Green Bay to New York last offseason.

With Rodgers down, though, the Jets offense was horrendous, and week by week Zach Wilson and Hackett seemingly took turns as the media and fanbase's punching boy.

The Jets were 29th in the league in points scored, but Rodgers remains steadfast in his support of Hackett. So, for the Jets fans doubting Hackett, Rodgers' message is simple and emphatic.

"You should trust me and I trust Nathaniel," Rodgers said of what he would tell Jets fans. "So, to me, that's end of story. There's been a lot of BS that's been said out there. There's a lot of things that have gone on the last couple years that he's dealt with that I think he's handled very professionally. And at the end of the day, I think you gotta trust his and my working relationship and the conversations that we have."

In the three years that Hackett was Rodgers' OC in Green Bay, the Packers finished 15th, first and 10th in points scored.

"We gotta believe in Nathaniel," Rodgers said. "There's been some things that we've improved on, been some things that were out of his control. At the end of the day, his and my partnership is one that's been fruitful in the past, and it's gonna be fruitful again."

There is no doubt that jobs are at stake and perhaps legacies on the line in the Jets' 2023 season.

New York hasn't had a winning season since 2015 and hasn't advanced to the playoffs since 2010.

Questions and concerns abound equally, but Rodgers remains undaunted and unflinching.

"I look forward to a season that I hope is obviously a lot longer than this past one," Rodgers said, "and a lot more fruitful."

Related Content