FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The war of words between the New York Jets and the New York Giants escalated Thursday, as Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers took a shot at Giants outside linebacker Jehad Ward.
“He thought we were laughing at his teammate? This never happened and I think he is committing nonsense,” Rodgers said. “I’m not interested.”
On Wednesday, Ward took umbrage with Rodgers and the Jets, accusing them of laughing after Randall Cobb set up safety Bobby McCain with an illegal blind block that left him with a concussion in a preseason game on Saturday.
The scene was captured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” with Rodgers and company laughing in the crowd as the quarterback attacked Cobb about the penalty and the expected fine from the NFL. An angry Ward said he responded minutes later with a late push to Rodgers after he completed a pass, sparking a heated exchange between the two.
This was also seen on “Hard Knocks”. This is the new normal for the Jets, who have received intense media coverage since the Rodgers trade in April. It actually goes back in March, when Rodgers – the former Green Bay Packers icon – announced his intention to play for the Jets.
“We got a lot of attention before we did ‘Hard Knocks,'” Rodgers said. “And then we did ‘Hard Knocks,’ so there’s definitely some jealousy there. There are a lot of people either jumping on the bandwagon or jumping (from) the other side.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Rodgers addressed the high expectations surrounding the team, noting that the increased interest was alienating to some outside the organization.
“Obviously there is a lot of expectation,” Rodgers said, adding that the Gates have a “legitimate chance” to reach the Super Bowl. “A lot of people are going to pull us down – crows as (Robert) Saleh referred to them” – a reference to the coach’s opening speech on “Hard Knocks”, in which he addressed the players. about the naysayers.
“There are a lot of people in our corner, too,” Rodgers said. “Which is good.”
Rodgers, 39, who is preparing for his 19th season, said he was enjoying the spotlight, although he insisted he was not paying attention to the “negative energy”. He said he was not aware of Ward’s comments. Only after reporters recounted Ward’s reaction did he offer his opinion.
The Jets and Giants meet in the regular season in Week 8 on October 29.
“There will be a lot of eyes on us,” Rodgers said of the upcoming season. “It could be pressure for some people, it could be an expectation, it could be excitement. I choose to see it as excitement. There are a lot of people who will follow, a lot of people who will follow.” “All along our season. I think a lot of people are going to have a lot to cheer about.”
Rodgers said the Jets are “really talented,” but declined to compare them to his best Green Bay teams. Earlier in the day, general manager Joe Douglas, addressing reporters for the first time since the draft, declined to say what his personal predictions are for the season.
“We’re excited to be part of the conversation as one of the best teams in the league, but excitement doesn’t mean winning games,” he said. “We have a lot to prove.”