The Jets’ offense is still interpreting what Mecole Hardman called a “tricky” Aaron Rodgers.
At training camp Sunday, Hardman admitted the quick game is aligning more often than not with the veteran quarterback in comparison to the deep plays, but in time with the offense and the learning of Rodgers’ ways, the Jets believe things will be clicking more often.
“He’s tricky, in a sense of thinking that he’s not going to throw it. He can see. To us, we are just running to a spot, but we don’t know exactly what’s around us, maybe what’s to the side of us but not behind us,” Hardman said after training camp Sunday.
“Tricky as in he will throw it when you think he won’t throw it, especially the no-looks. He will no-look you quick.”
Rodgers’ hand signals have been an interesting adjustment for the offense, especially since he tends to change them in an effort in what Hardman interprets as to keep the offense on their toes.
“I’m still catching on. Tomorrow, he might have a different signal for the same play. You don’t know until you get to practice,” Hardman said with a laugh. “As a receiver, once you mess something up you won’t mess it up again. So, I think he takes the mindset, if I give him a signal and he messes it up because he doesn’t know what it is, next time I give the signal, I know what it is. He [is] doing it on purpose to keep our minds racing.
“He’s definitely one of those guys that you gotta watch him,” Hardman added. “Not watch the ball, watch him because, at the last minute, he might give you something you have to run, and you have to be ready for it.”
There was clear chemistry between Rodgers and the tight ends, who saw a lot of action Sunday.
That includes C.J. Uzomah, who feels he is starting to get on the same page as Rodgers and that the unpredictability the QB brings is making a difference for the offense.
“It was a great day for us. We’re on the same page,” Uzomah said. “It’s fun. It’s different. It’s a little bit challenging at times to know what he’s thinking. And even in the huddle today, we have these different hand adjustments and signals, and he’s still out there, ‘Hey, actually, I’m going to change it. So, if it’s this, this time, it’s going to mean this.’ And I’m out there like, ‘What did he just say?’
“To me, that makes it fun. The defense can’t key him. They don’t know what our adjustments are going to be, and I think that’s in part why we kind of got after the defense a little bit today. They tried to pick up on some tendencies of his and you can’t. So yeah, fun days for us. Fun day for the tight ends.”
Second-year tight end Jeremy Ruckert has noticed a difference as well since returning to play from plantar fasciitis that limited him to nine games as a rookie.
“He’s helped everybody, you can just tell,” Ruckert said. “Everything he says, you take it super seriously because, if he’s lived through it for so long, he sees things you wouldn’t even think about years from now.
“Seeing the game in his eyes, or trying to, you learn a lot every single day.”
Since Rodgers’ arrival, his word seems to be the one to follow, especially for an offense that is continuing to get to know him and his game.
“Just trusting him. I think that’s the biggest thing we’re all trying to do is just trust him,” Ruckert said. “He’s here for a reason. He is the player he is for a reason. Soak it all in. Trust what he’s telling you and just try to implicate that on the field.”