Best Reactions to Episode 1 of Hard Knocks With the New York Jets

Tuesday night marked the return of HBO’s Hard Knocks. The New York Jets are at center stage of this year’s docuseries, which means we saw plenty of Aaron Rodgers in Episode 1.

After last season’s iteration of Hard Knocks featured enthusiastic Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, the Jets debuted plenty of noteworthy characters of their own, including head coach Robert Saleh, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, and cornerback Sauce Gardner.

What were the best reactions to Tuesday night’s episode of Hard Knocks?

Hard Knocks: Early Reactions to A-A-Ron and the New York Jets

The Jets’ acquisition of Rodgers was arguably the most important move in franchise history — so much so that Hard Knocks‘ opening teaser, perhaps unsurprisingly, entirely focused on the Rodgers-to-NY trade. In fact, most of the episode seemed to revolve around Rodgers.

NFL Films knows how to market its product, and Rodgers is the Jets’ highest-profile personality.

Arguably the funniest moment of Episode 1 came when Rodgers and Hackett were competing in a contest to hit the pylon with a football. After Hackett tried to affect Rodgers by shouting out random phrases (“Naked clowns!”), Rodgers got him back by uttering a fellow coach’s name.

Of course, any behind-the-scenes with the Jets wouldn’t be complete without at least one Rodgers-ism.

But tonight’s episode mostly just made everyone even more confident that the Jets are on the verge of something special in 2023.

The Aaron Rodgers-Liev Schreiber Buddy Comedy We Didn’t Know We Needed

For the first time in Hard Knocks history, narrator Liev Schreiber broke the fourth wall by actually appearing on the show, live and in person. But he didn’t just arrive at Jets training camp like any other visitor — Schreiber helicoptered onto the practice field.

Rodgers spent time with Schreiber and encouraged the other Jets to talk to him, repeatedly calling the actor the “voice of God” for his narration work with NFL Films.

Schreiber, who’s been involved with Hard Knocks nearly every year since 2001, tried to downplay his role on the show — which Rodgers heartily went along with.

Aaron Rodgers Has a Career Prediction For Sauce Gardner

2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Darrelle Revis and Joe Thomas were on hand when the Jets faced the Browns in the annual Hall of Fame Game. Rodgers, who will clearly be wearing a gold jacket when his NFL career concludes, told Gardner he should expect to land in Canton, too.

While Gardner only has one NFL campaign under his belt, he won Defensive Rookie of the Year and was arguably the league’s best cornerback in 2022.

The Hall of Fame is a long way away, but Gardner is certainly on a HOF track.

Rodgers has suited up alongside a long list of great NFL players during his lengthy pro career, but Gardner could end up being the best teammate he’s ever played with.

Not Everyone is Happy With Hard Knocks

Of course, not every fanbase is pleased that Rodgers is garnering so much airtime.

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