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Jets Should Embrace "Hard Knocks," Not Run From It

Last week, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the league had expanded its search for which organization to place on Hard Knocks beyond the four teams that they, by rule, could force to participate. The Jets, along with the Bears, Saints, and Commanders, are the organizations that could be compelled to appear on the preseason special this year if the league fails to find a willing party.

Jets HC Robert Saleh was quick to declare that the team has no interest in the Hard Knocks crew coming down to Florham Park:

I think it’s safe to say that the Jets are the league’s favorite option for the series this season when compared to the other teams. It’s June and the NFL announced that the Lions would be the 2022 Hard Knocks team back in March of last year. It’s possible that the demand for the Aaron Rodgers-led Jets is high enough that the league is holding out in an attempt to try and persuade the Jets organization.


New York has done a great job with producing their own off-season special, Flight, as well as an in-season special, One Jets Drive for fans to gain an inside look at the team. The Jets appear to be comfortable having control over the production of their own content rather than being at the mercy of the national stage. Unfortunately for them, things have begun to change since the team has traded for a certain quarterback who will undoubtedly demand much more attention.

Jets Getting Reintroduced To The Limelight?

While I understand not wanting any outside distractions, the reality of the situation is that the Jets may not be able to outrun what has already started to follow. We saw how the media covered Rodgers’ arrival in New York and now with the possibility of being featured on this year’s Hard Knocks, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The Jets are going to be talked about all season long, for better or worse, so why not embrace it?

Gang Green has made a move this season that, if all goes according to plan, could put them on football’s biggest stage, so handling Hard Knocks should not be something that the Jets should shy away from.

New York last appeared on the HBO special in 2010, coming off a loss in the AFC championship game the year prior. Some notable names that were in the Jets organization at the time were Rex Ryan, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, and Mark Sanchez. Ironically enough, the team has not reached the playoffs since that season, but with Aaron Rodgers now on the team, the expectation is for that to change.

Closing Thoughts

I completely understand not wanting the distraction from the Jets' perspective, but at the end of the day, this was always a likely possibility. I don’t see this as a huge issue if New York is forced onto Hard Knocks this year. They’re going to have to learn how to deal with the new attention that comes with the territory of acquiring Aaron Rodgers. The team is going to be a story all season long, so if it does happen, then it’s just starting a little sooner than they would’ve liked.


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