Aaron Rodgers and Liev Schreiber star in the season premiere of Hard Knocks.

This season of Hard Knocks was always going to be The Aaron Rodgers Show. How could it not be that his “will he or won’t he” drama jump overboard, retire and retreat into obscurity dominating the offseason?

In fact, the latest episode of the long-running reality show premiered Tuesday night’s 53-minute session on HBO, and delved deeply into what Rodgers’ arrival means for the New York Jets. But it was an appearance by the “voice of god,” Liev Schreiber, in the role of long-serving NFL narrator John Facenda, that managed to outshine the quarterback god.

Admittedly, Rodgers wasn’t thrilled with the idea of ​​appearing on the show. Last month during the American Century Golf Tournament He said, “One of the only things I like about ‘Hard Knocks’ is the voice of God telling it.”

“Obviously a lot of eyes are on me. Many eyes are on our team. Great expectations of our team. They forced it on us and we have to deal with it.”

The arrival of Rodgers, who walked through the squad facility and said the Super Bowl III trophy looked “lonely,” was overshadowed by “the voice”‘s arrival in a helicopter.

“It’s the voice of God!” Rodgers chirped to his fellow quarterbacks. “You didn’t say hello? Say hello! It is the voice of God!”

“Go say hello!” he said to offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Don’t be A——. He is nervous. He wants to meet people.”

What gas: Well, there are AGNB – as in “All. Gas. No. Brake.” on screen behind coach Robert Saleh, when addressing Gang Green, explained that the only bird that would attack an eagle was a crow, and addressed the elephant in the room – expectations for the team.

“It will perch on the eagle’s back and peck its neck. So instead of fighting back and tearing a crow to pieces like it can, the eagle spreads its wings and flies as high as it can,” he said, smiling among the players. “She runs and runs and flies as high as she can, and the higher she flies, the harder it is for the crow to breathe. Eventually the crow suffocates, dies and falls back to earth.”

So there will be “a lot of crows expecting us to fall on our faces.” Got it.

Young and old meet Rodgers: Rodgers turns 40 in December. “I’ve been watching you since I was 7 years old. I’ve watched you my whole life,” Mecole Hardman Jr., the 25-year-old wide receiver who came from the Kansas City Chiefs, told him.

As for Saleh, his impression of the number 8 quarterback: “He’s obviously the best quarterback I’ve ever had on a team.”

QB controversy? Eh, no: There’s no fight with Zach Wilson, the quarterback the Jets made their second overall draft pick two years ago. Rodgers ranked his ability to deliver no-look passes second to his own, but he’s the backup, a role that Saleh says Wilson has “embraced.”

Hackett points out: Rodgers is reunited with Hackett, who was met with vicious remarks from Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton about his stint as Payton’s predecessor in 2022. Rodgers defended his former Green Bay coordinator, saying, “Keep the names of my coaches out of your mouth,” and Payton apologized that Hackett’s tenure as head coach at Denver was “one of the worst coaching jobs in NFL history.”

“The more you’re around him, the more you realize how special he is as a person,” Rodgers said on Hard Knocks. Our personalities fit together. We’re both competitive, we’re both balanced – he has an amazing wife and four kids, I have a full life off the field that’s pretty well documented by now. We get along like brothers…we like to fuck each other. … I love him.”

Hackett’s duties include distracting Rodgers by saying things like “naked clowns.” Rodgers replied, “Sean Payton.”

Saleh’s opinion? “If you don’t have haters, you won’t bang.”

Sauce and Wilson mix it: Cornerback Sauce Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilson — two of the Jets’ three first-round draft picks in 2022 — engage in friendly competition in one-on-one drills. “I respect what he does. He respects what I do,” Wilson noted.

Not even a loss can spoil the mood: The first preseason game was a 21-16 loss to the Browns, with Rodgers wearing a headset on the touchline. There’s no denying that there’s a lot of gray in his head now, but as Schreiber told him, “You’ve made a lot of New Yorkers very happy.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/08/09/aaron-rodgers-hard-knocks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_homepage Aaron Rodgers and Liev Schreiber star in the season premiere of Hard Knocks.

Ian Walker

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