Aaron Rodgers on Thursday told reporters that being a New York Jet has been a “beautiful dream” and a “really, really special” time — all before the first football has been kicked off in the 2023 NFL season.
“I told a friend this has felt like waking up inside of a dream, this whole experience. A beautiful dream,” Rodgers told reporters after the Jets practiced on Thursday, one week before the new season begins. “So many times you have a great dream and you wake up and you think: I just want to get back into that but I can’t quite get back into the dream. I’ve woken up inside of that dream and it’s been really, really special.”
Rodgers: “How cool is my life now?”
Rodgers had spent his entire career in Green Bay until this summer, when the Packers granted his request to be traded to New York. The four-time NFL MVP didn’t have his best season in 2022 — he tossed 12 interceptions, his most in one season since 2008 — but the 39-year-old seems re-energized by his move east.
“It happens in the locker room, it happens walking out and it’s the fresh air and the sun setting,” Rodgers said. “It’s just (thinking) what an awesome day it was because of whatever it was, a conversation I had with Mekhi (Becton), getting to see (offensive lineman) Billy Turner and catch up with him, a play that happened that really was fun that we talked about and wanted to happen … or we’re driving to the city and you hit that spot before you go in the tunnel and you’re looking across to the city going: How cool is my life now?”
Rodgers spoke of the “opportunity” given to him via his trade from Green Bay to live life in a new city and to continue competing for a championship. That Super Bowl chase begins next Monday, when the Jets host the division rival Buffalo Bills to close Week 1.
“I just try to keep that perspective every day here and it’s been easy because one thing has happened almost every single day that just reminds me I’m in the right place, I’m where I’m supposed to be and I’m really just loving what this opportunity has given me,” he said.
Standards higher at “JetLife”
In a recent episode of “Hard Knocks,” Rodgers began referring to the Jets‘ home stadium as “JetLife Stadium” — reinforcing how the quarterback intends to transform the culture around the long-suffering franchise — now laden with talent and hoping to return to the postseason.
The Jets have the NFL‘s longest active postseason appearance drought. That 12-year barren run could easily end this season, now that Rodgers and running back Dalvin Cook are among the new faces in town supplementing a young core of Becton, Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams, and Garrett Wilson.