Rich ChiminiESPN staff writer4 minutes to read
FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Injured New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants his teammates to do a better job of handling adversity, and he wants fans — including franchise icon Joe Namath — to stay positive.
Rodgers, on his weekly show on “The Pat McAfee Show,” said Tuesday that he didn’t care about the sideline behavior during Sunday’s 15-10 loss to the New England Patriots.
“I think we need to keep our balance a little better across the board,” Rodgers said. “Just offensively, we need to not have some of that stuff happen on the sidelines and be a little better and be a little better competitor.”
Wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Michael Carter were caught on camera in animated conversations with assistant coaches. Carter, in particular, was hot. He was yelling at running backs coach Taylor Embree.
Rodgers, who watched from his home in Malibu, Calif., said there were “a lot of little side conversations, and we just need to grow up a little bit on offense and shut down and do our job and not point fingers at each other — and that’s everybody.” Don’t point fingers at the coaching staff, don’t point fingers at each other. Just get back to work and get the job done.”
The Jets (1-2) have lost two straight, with the Zach Wilson-led offense producing just two touchdowns in both losses. Wilson, who replaced Rodgers in Game 5 of the opener, was heavily criticized.
“I feel like if I had been there, some of these things wouldn’t have happened,” said Rodgers, who underwent surgery on his Achilles tendon on Sept. 13.[I’m] I’m not sure we’ll be 3-0 — I don’t know. “I’d like to think there’s a possibility of that, but it’s about the side things I don’t like and I want to see us stick together through the tough times.”
Namath sparked the firestorm on Monday when he ripped Wilson in an interview on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio New York. Namath said Wilson was “bad” against the Patriots, adding that he would trade the former No. 2 overall pick because he has “seen enough of Zach Wilson.” He also said coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas should be replaced.
Rodgers was asked about Namath’s comments, and although he did not address Namath by name, he made it clear that he does not appreciate negativity.
“When we don’t have success, how do we respond? How do we respond to adversity? And that applies to our fan base and former players as well,” Rodgers said. “You’re not helping the cause.
“I would like to see everyone sticking together – our fan base, our former players and our current players because there is a lot of negativity and the world is falling apart after three weeks. [It’s] Long season, lots of time, lots of things that can happen. So, let’s take a few breaths, okay? I wouldn’t say we need to relax. Let’s take some breaths.”
Rodgers, in the early stages of rehab, hinted that he might attend Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium.
“You never know who you’re going to see in the game,” he said.
He may have been referring to Taylor Swift, who caused a frenzy last Sunday when she attended the Chiefs’ home game against the Chicago Bears after being invited by Travis Kelce.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”