The season finale of "Hard Knocks" with the NY Jets aired last night and wrapped up the story of the 2023 Jets training camp. It was an eventful season and one of the most watched seasons in the show's history.
Let’s take a look at some takeaways from the season finale of "Hard Knocks" with the Jets.
Xavier Gibson/Jason Brownlee
Two of the Jets' undrafted free agent signings were big parts of "Hard Knocks" this season, and both made the 53-man roster.
With the Jets not wanting to show players getting cut, "Hard Knocks" decided to show both Brownlee and Gibson finding out they made the team, which made for a much better moment.
Everyone in the organization seems to like these two, and even though the Jets did not draft a wide receiver this year, they have some good young players to develop.
Tanzel Smart was one of the big stars this season. As defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich mentioned in the episode, it was going to be very difficult to make the team as a defensive lineman.
The Jets have one of the best and deepest defensive lines in the NFL, so it was going to be hard for someone to crack that. Smart got as close as you possibly could, but he ultimately did not make the 53-man roster.
Surprisingly, and to the Jets' benefit, he was not picked up by another team and is back on the practice squad.
This season has seen Robert Saleh address the team with fiery, impassioned speeches multiple times now. None were more notable than his speech this week.
Saleh talked about not being happy when other coaches would come up and give them credit for "playing hard." He and the rest of the team do not want to be scrappy underdogs anymore — they want to win.
That’s a great mindset to have going into this season with such high expectations. Saleh, along with coordinators Nathaniel Hackett and Jeff Ulbrich, all seem to be great leaders in their own ways.
C.J. Uzomah had not been featured all that much throughout the show but made a few appearances in this episode — from educating John Franklin-Myers about Broadway shows to being in the last scene of the season.
Uzomah was dying his hair Jets green and mentioned how he had not been this excited for a season since he was a kid. Uzomah played in the Super Bowl with the Cincinnati Bengals a few years ago, so that should tell you the level of expectation the players have for the team this season.
This was an entertaining season of "Hard Knocks," with Aaron Rodgers’ adjustment to the Jets serving as the focal point. NFL Films did an excellent job of addressing that heavily in the beginning but then focused on it less while still making Rodgers the star of each episode.
The Jets have already been involved in a lot of drama before the season has even started, and this show will have high expectations for the team.
For the first time in a long time, the Jets could have the right people in the building to live up to those expectations.