Saleh feels Rodgers is more of a coach than player
Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss the importance of Aaron Rodgers helping the young Jets players get used to his style of play and learn his codewords at OTAs before the season starts.
MIKE FLORIO: Here's Robert Saleh and Aaron Rodgers on the new Jets quarterback attending OTAs this year.
ROBERT SALEH: In my opinion, it was never-- there was never a doubt that he was going to be here. When you're making a change, you're a competitor. He wants to show well. I know he wants to have a good season, just like we all do. There was-- and he's a-- he's a pro. He knows-- he knows that in order for him to be his best, he has to help everybody around him be their best. And so for me, it was, knowing the athlete he is and the competitor he is, there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to be here, so I never had to talk about it.
AARON RODGERS: Haven't been to OTAs in last couple years, so it's been nice to kind of be out here, be in the meetings, speak up about certain things, little adjustments in the offense and additional coaching points. Obviously got a long history with Nathaniel, so he gives me a lot of latitude to speak up in the meetings, and just the opportunity to help out Zach and Tim and Chris in the room was a lot of fun.
ROBERT SALEH: I joke around that he's closer to a coach than he is a player at this point in his career. He's a fantastic mind. He's a fantastic conversation. So he's been-- it's been all positive.
AARON RODGERS: When you're in the same offense for a long time, you know, the offseason is really for the young players. But with a new offense, being my first year here, I really wanted to be around for at least some of the beginning things to just let them know kind of how I like to do things and, like I said, some of the code words, some of the little adjustments, some of the ways I see the game, sparking that conversation.
MIKE FLORIO: See, it was clear he didn't intend to be around for very much of this anyway, so now he won't be practicing. And he mentions the code words. It reminds me of-- I think it was an item from Tyler Dunne where there was this weird vibe in Green Bay where he had his code words and he expected guys to know them, even if they didn't know them. And the receivers were like, what the hell is this? He expects me to know this, and I don't know this. I don't know if you remember that, but--
CHRIS SIMMS: I do remember.
MIKE FLORIO: --this is part of getting guys comfortable. One of the things that makes a guy uncomfortable-- beyond the fact that they're like, oh my God. That's Aaron Rodgers. I've been watching him since I was a little kid-- is he's got this language that I don't have access to--
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah.
MIKE FLORIO: --and he expects me to know it.
CHRIS SIMMS: Right. and I think that's what Tyler Dunne, if I remember right, it was like it was referring to, right? He had a language with a bunch of the other guys, the veteran guys, but he was throwing that same stuff out there to some of the younger guys. And they were like, wait, you haven't taught me that yet, if I remember correctly.
But this goes back into everything, you know, we talked about last offseason, and we just were talking about this yesterday or at least the day before. You know, that's why you're there right now. It's to lay the groundwork for those things that you said. He's somewhat incriminating himself for what-- last year, right? I mean, with what he's saying there, he's incriminating himself on what he did in Green Bay last year.
But at the same time, at least maybe he's realized that and understands the importance of it now, and maybe he's grown in that department, and I'll give him credit for that. But yeah, Mike, it's those little things where, you know, yeah, that's when it starts. Oh, hey. Yeah, you know, we've got a-- we've got a-- we've got a play called, but it's a different-- the way they're playing this coverage, I'd like you to run this route just a hair different. You know, we might run the route-- the slant route with a three step-- you know, the receiver takes three steps and then cuts in, but if we get cover two or whatever, maybe I just want a one-step slant. Or I might see something and just say this word, and if I say this word, I want you to change the route and go to something else or that under-the-radar signaling we talked about.
That stuff goes a long way this time of the year, and now guys can get that in their brain and start to be looking for it and get used to, wait, there's more than I just have to remember the play at the huddle with this guy. I've got to get used to-- you know, I've got to look at the defense. I've got to make sure I look at him. I've got to make sure I'm on my-- you know, on my Ps and Qs here because he's adding some other elements to the offense, and that's where it's important for the $60 million a year quarterback and the franchise and the guy to be there in the offseason.
MIKE FLORIO: Yeah. I just studied his demeanor every clip that we show today, and he just looked like somebody who had something he really wanted to say, but he knew he shouldn't say it. And he was kind of hoping that someone would either ask a question or use a phrase that would allow him to say whatever it was he wanted to say. He just kind of had that-- there was just kind of that impish kind of anticipatory-- I can't really articulate it, although I'm trying to.
CHRIS SIMMS: Do you think he was just edgy or, like, bothered by his calf injury maybe, you know? I mean, there could be that too, or it could be just bothering him that that happened and he felt like, hey, I got some good momentum going here. And maybe under his breath he's a little bit, oh, that fricking stupid fricking jumping drill with the medicine ball and all that crap. Who knows? He could be agitated. I don't-- you know, and you're pretty good with reading people that way. I don't doubt that, you know, what you're seeing there. I understand what you're saying.
MIKE FLORIO: But yesterday was kind of the first normal interaction away from the shooting of the confetti cannons and Aaron Rodgers is in town and everybody loves everyone and everything is awesome. This is where we start getting into the grind a little bit, and this is what we're going to see. And there's going to be bumps and bruises. It's not going to be perfect every single day, and the adversity will be magnified if and when it happens.