Rodgers ‘pinching himself’ being with the Jets

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explore Aaron Rodgers’ “honeymoon phase” in New York and explain why the fresh start is positive for both the QB and the Jets.

Video Transcript

MIKE FLORIO: Let's move on to the former Packers quarterback making a Tuesday appearance--

CHRIS SIMMS: Mr. New York!

MIKE FLORIO: --with Pat McAfee. He is now-- he's smart. Everything he's done is smart. It may all be contrived and planned and manicured-- as manicured as the Tom Brady beach football video-- but it's smart. He's got a new fan base he's got to cozy up to and/or suck up to, and he's been doing it. Here he is talking to Pat McAfee yesterday on how the new quarterback of the New York Jets is settling in.

Scroll to continue with content

AARON RODGERS: Yeah it's been great. Everything is new. It's like the first day of school every single day. There's new people to meet, you've got to figure out your routine and where the laundry loops go and, mail and cleats and weight room shoes and all this stuff. Everything's new and exciting and fun. I'm just pinching myself a lot of days. Just-- I can't believe it's real sometimes. So it's been a dream for sure, just to be here. I definitely feel energized to be in the building. That takes nothing away from the 18 beautiful years I spent in Green Bay.

- Of course.

AARON RODGERS: How can you ask for anything better than that and just such a special place to play? But 18 years at the same spot, you also get used to everything. And everything is just kind of the same old, same old in a lot of ways-- which has its beauty for sure, but with everything being new and embracing the change and just the things that maybe aren't as comfortable as they used to be has been a lot of fun.



MIKE FLORIO: And there's a lot of appeal to that. The idea that he gets a new start. It's exciting. It's different. He'd been in the same place his entire career. He's being embraced. It's never going to be better than it is right now.

He's able to go out and hobnob and feel the love and the adulation of the fans. They have no reason to be upset with him because he hasn't thrown a pass yet. It could change by October. We know how the Jets fans can be. They could be clamoring for Zach Wilson. They could be demanding they do a trade and bring back Mike White, for crying out loud. We don't know where they're going to be. But it's all going to hinge on how they get off to the start of the season. That's why the schedule release coming up-- reportedly, presumably in eight days-- the past couple of years, our first reaction to the Jets schedule once we see the configuration of the games has been, who'd they piss off at the league office?

Because all the tough games were loaded into the front end. If they get a bunch of tough games early and they struggle-- and they are going to have struggles this year. You play the Eagles, the Chiefs, the three teams in your division twice each. You throw in the Cowboys, the Giants? Yeah, there's a chance the wins aren't going to come. There's a chance it's not going to click right away.

Is that bond still going to be there? So now is the time to enjoy the honeymoon phase of the relationship. It's never going to be better than it is right now. It's only going to potentially go downhill. It'll be as good maybe as it is right now, but it's never going to be better than it is right now unless you're having your Super Bowl parade. And so enjoy it. Soak it in every day of your life.


Find a way to find a positive in it. That's what he's doing. I applaud it, I appreciate it, and I think it's smart. I think it's smart to be out and about in New York and making that connection to your new town.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, definitely it is. I think it's great the city is embracing him. Come on, he's the star of stars, as we know. He's one of those short-list people of when he comes to town, it was like, oh, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are coming to town. But Aaron Rodgers got first billing.

And people in New York, they want to see him. They want to be around him. I've even heard from people within the Jets organization-- I think he's being tugged by players, too. Like hey, I want to go out here with you. I want to do this with you.

I want to do that. So that's part of the reason he's out and about, too, is not only to be seen, but I think he's also trying to enhance the camaraderie bond and do that. Oh, Sauce, do you want to go to the game? OK, I wasn't planning on it, but OK, Sauce, let's go.


I'll go to the game with you. Let's do it. Let's create a little bond, offense-defense there. So that's where it's smart, too. And that's where-- to your point, Mike-- we hit on this a little last week and all that. This is where I'm just a believer that I think the energy of the newness and all of this is just going to be a positive for the Jets and Rodgers.

I think one, it's going to invigorate Rodgers because he can be like, damn, New York, they love sports, and I don't want to let them down, and this is great to be a part of. And then I think there's the other aspect of he's like that, but then the Jets are going to invigorate him, too. He's going to invigorate them in the locker room.

But the energy and the building-- what he's alluded to as far as Robert Saleh-- and he empowers the young players to have energy and personality. That's different than Green Bay. I don't know. Green Bay doesn't have any players up there like Sauce Gardner or Garrett Wilson or some of those personalities like that. So that will invigorate him.

He'll invigorate the team, because they're going to go oh my gosh, it's Aaron Rodgers. He's the man. We can be good. And that's where-- a lot of times when these superstars make these type of moves, we see positives because of, I think, that little formula right there.


MIKE FLORIO: And look, while you're talking--

CHRIS SIMMS: What were you giggling at?

MIKE FLORIO: I was trying to fill my head-- well, Pete's trying to get me to say snarky things. Folks out there think that all the snarky, mean-spirited things I say come directly from me. We have a Cyrano de Bergerac in the control room who will say things to us in an effort to get us to say them.

Well-- oh, Pete, do you deny? Do you deny? Do you deny that you were not trying to get me to say something snarky?

CHRIS SIMMS: What did I say? What did I say that he wanted a snarky response?

MIKE FLORIO: No, he's-- no, he's trying to get me to say, hey, look at what a great time I'm having, Packers, now that I've left you and I'm gone from you. Something like that.


CHRIS SIMMS: Oh yeah, he's trying to stir the pot over here, Pete.


No, it has nothing to do with that.

MIKE FLORIO: It's not about sticking it to the Packers.

CHRIS SIMMS: Exactly right.

MIKE FLORIO: It's about setting the right relationship in New York. And I want to bring up the photo-- the last photo in the series we had, because I have an idea now.


MIKE FLORIO: Because Aaron Rodgers and I have a common friend that should have been you.

CHRIS SIMMS: Oh, baby! Start it!


CHRIS SIMMS: A threesome.

MIKE FLORIO: My new friend Spike Lee--



Well, I wouldn't necessarily use that word.


But my new friend Spike Lee-- (LAUGHING) I went to Brooklyn to-- I dropped everything to go to Brooklyn to see him. So Spike, help me out. Let's have a little get-together. Me, you, and Aaron. I think it would be productive.

I think it would be great Aaron would refuse to do it, but you know what? See, if Spike asks you to do it, you're going to do it.

CHRIS SIMMS: Might do it.

MIKE FLORIO: If he's truly and fully immersed in the New York experience, if Spike asks him to come for a meal, lunch, whatever-- and I'm going to be up there fairly soon, too. So we could do this May 15, 16. We're going to be up in the area. maybe a little--


CHRIS SIMMS: Let's set it away.

MIKE FLORIO: A little lunch somewhere.

CHRIS SIMMS: Let's set it up.

MIKE FLORIO: A little dinner.

CHRIS SIMMS: Hey, forget the threesome. Bring me along.

MIKE FLORIO: A little ayuhuasca.

CHRIS SIMMS: We'll have a foursome. I want to get in there. Yeah, if you're going to get that together, I want in, too, OK? I'm not-- you can't hang out with Aaron Rodgers and Spike Lee without me up here in New York. That would be effed up if you do that to me, all right? So you better include me if that happens.

MIKE FLORIO: One thing I know about being in Brooklyn, it smells like weed everywhere.



MIKE FLORIO: So you would be very--

CHRIS SIMMS: I'll be there.

MIKE FLORIO: --at home--

CHRIS SIMMS: That's right.

MIKE FLORIO: --in Brooklyn. Weed everywhere in Brooklyn.

CHRIS SIMMS: Oh, well--

MIKE FLORIO: Weed was seeping under the door of my hotel room in Brooklyn.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yep, welcome to Brooklyn.

MIKE FLORIO: Weed everywhere.

CHRIS SIMMS: How about them apples? But yeah, hey, hey. Rodgers-- first off, the Knicks get the win last night. That was big. But even in those pictures there-- and-- because the Knicks are in the playoffs and have a chance here again. It's stars of stars at the Knicks games right now in the first three rows.

It's just one big actor and music personality and whoever after another. And when they show up, they're all going over, like we saw with that picture with Spike Lee there. They're going over to say hi to Aaron Rodgers. That's the cool thing. That's how--

MIKE FLORIO: That can't be a recent photo!


MIKE FLORIO: That first photo can't be recent! He didn't grow a beard in a day.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, I think that might have been--

MIKE FLORIO: I don't know why that first photo is in there.

CHRIS SIMMS: That might have been for the playoff game from a few days ago.

MIKE FLORIO: Was it last night?

CHRIS SIMMS: He's been there three nights in a row--

MIKE FLORIO: Oh, he shaved last night.

CHRIS SIMMS: --I think. I think he went hockey--


CHRIS SIMMS: --Saturday night, basketball Sunday, and now basketball Tuesday. So that's three out of four nights he's been in Madison Square Garden.

MIKE FLORIO: And it's smart. We know what he's doing and it's OK. It's smart for him to do it. So he shaved yesterday at some point-- showed up clean-shaven for last night's game. Did they win or lose last night?

CHRIS SIMMS: The Knicks--

MIKE FLORIO: Did they win or lose?

CHRIS SIMMS: The Knicks won. The Knicks won. He won't--

MIKE FLORIO: So it's 1-1.

CHRIS SIMMS: --be going to anymore Rangers game, because they lost to the Devils. That's right. Eat it Jersey conquers New York again! Eat it.

MIKE FLORIO: Was that game seven that they lost to the Devils? That has to be awfully embarrassing--

CHRIS SIMMS: That's right, Mike. Rub it in there.

MIKE FLORIO: --for the Rangers.

CHRIS SIMMS: Rub it in to that jerk Pete. That's right. Yep, that was game seven that those Rangers choked against the Devils. That's right. 4-0.