Many NFL meetings involve coaches standing in front of their players and being the predominant voice in the room. That's no longer the case for the New York Jets offense. Not since they acquired four-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers .
New offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who worked alongside Rodgers in Green Bay in the same capacity from 2019-2021, runs the offensive meetings as coordinators do, but there's plenty of room for Rodgers to provide his input.
Teammates can't be checked out because like he did in Green Bay, Rodgers will administer pop quizzes to see if his teammates can react and be on the same page with him on the fly. He will see if the quiz contestant understands their assignment on a play, then check to see how that player would handle an audible at the line of scrimmage in that same situation.
"You feel that sense of calm," Hall said, "but you also know you have to be on your stuff."
Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Sammy Watkins echoed this sentiment last December in the midst of Rodgers' final season with the Green and Gold, emphasizing how critical it was to get up to speed with Rodgers, especially his hand signals that he uses to change plays just before the snap.
"If you're not up to date 100 percent of the time, you pretty much can't go out there and make plays," Watkins said, via The Athletic. "You can't really play fast, and I think that's what the young guys kind of are — not afraid of — but if you're just trying to do the right thing, you are not focusing on getting open, you are not focusing on releases."
The future Hall of Fame passer feels his audience engagement in offensive meetings is critical for a team's alignment.
"The worst thing you can see in a meeting is a coach up there talking the entire time with no interaction," Rodgers said, via ESPN. "That might be the standard at some places, but I just never felt that's been the right way to do things. It needs to be a free-flowing conversation between the coaches and the players. There needs to be feedback, you need to call on guys. So I'm allowed to do some of that stuff."
Working alongside Hackett, someone Rodgers has categorized as not only a great coach but also a friend, allows for the quarterback to have significant input on the offense's structure. He didn't have nearly as much sway over the Packers' offensive design under head Matt Fleur, publicly bristling about how Green Bay's offensive. In New York, the offense is being installed with his ideal design: more shotgun snaps with less pre-snap motion. The Packers have utilized motion on 50.3% of their offensive plays since 2019, when LaFleur became the Packers head coach. That's the seventh-highest rate in the NFL.
Speaking of pre-snap calls, Rodgers went out of his way to pop into an offensive line meeting to go over calls. That's critical because of all of the hard-count cadence Rodgers uses in an effort to draw defenses offsides.
"I've been around some really good quarterbacks, but just the command he has with everything, it's different," soon-to-be 38-year-old offensive tackle Duane Brown said. The five-time Pro Bowler has played with Pro Bowl passers as a member of the Houston Texans in Deshaun Watson and the Seattle Seahawks in Russell Wilson.
Rodgers is going out of his way to communicate his vision for the offense and his style of leadership, something his new teammates have embraced because his NFL resume is inarguable.
"He [Rodgers] makes it different," guard Laken Tomlinson said during OTAs. "He makes it different with his confidence. He makes it different with his communication. He makes it different with his high level of play. Having all that mesh into that position, it's truly special working with someone of that caliber. He makes everyone be on their A-game every day."
At his Tuesday press conference, Rodgers' new head coach Robert Saleh guaranteed Rodgers will have complete freedom to audible and adjust plays to his liking From top to bottom, one thing is crystal clear when it comes to the New York Jets in 2023: it's the Aaron Rodgers show.