Mecole Hardman trashes NY Jets coaching staff, accuses them of lying

Mecole Hardman had some choice words for his former team

Mecole Hardman
Mecole Hardman / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It's safe to say that Mecole Hardman won't be looking to return to the NY Jets anytime soon. The soon-to-be free agent and Super Bowl hero had some choice words for his former coaching staff in a recent appearance on "The Pivot" podcast with Ryan Clark on Tuesday.

Hardman accused the Jets of lying to him, specifically calling out Jets special teams coordinator Brant Boyer. Hardman insisted that Boyer "misled" him about the team's punt returning job in training camp, which is why he refused to return punts later in the season.

With rookie Xavier Gipson out nursing an ankle injury, the Jets wanted Hardman to serve as the team's punt returner, but the three-time Super Bowl champion refused. He cited his own injury (hyperextended pinky) and an unwillingness to catch punts for Boyer.

Hardman went on to insist that the Jets' offensive coaching staff had "no standard," suggesting that the team essentially let Aaron Rodgers do whatever he wanted. He praised Robert Saleh and the defensive staff but was very critical of Nathaniel Hackett and the team's offense.

"You just got a new (offensive) coaching staff that came in and there’s no standard there. Everybody does what they want to do. Granted, the defense has more of a stabilized standard with the coaching staff on that side, so the defense has a standard. But the offense is just like, 'We’ll just figure it out. It’s Aaron’s show. Let Aaron do what Aaron does.' Then when Aaron goes down, it’s like we don’t know what to do."

Mecole Hardman

Mecole Hardman didn't hold back when criticizing the NY Jets coaching staff

Hardman's comments about Hackett and the offense shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The Jets reportedly promised the Chiefs wide receiver an "expanded role" in New York, only for him to lose his job to the aforementioned Gipson in training camp.

His quote about Rodgers and the team's overreliance on him isn't exactly shocking, either. The Jets have publicly admitted that they constructed their entire offense around Rodgers, and it became increasingly apparent that they didn't have an identity without him.

It is interesting to see that Hardman's most prominent beef was with Boyer, however. The issue seems to stem from Hardman's belief that Boyer misled him about the punt-returning job in the summer.

Hardman presumably believed the job would be his, but he, of course, lost out to the rookie Gipson. That didn't seem to sit well with Hardman, who went on to imply that he believed he was better than every wide receiver on the Jets' roster outside of Garrett Wilson.

Hardman was understandably frustrated about how things went down during his stint with the Jets. He feels like he was misled and mistreated by a coaching staff in over their heads.

Is Hardman right? Is he simply bitter about his untimely exit? It's impossible to say without knowing all sides of the story, and we likely never will.

What we do know, however, is that Mecole Hardman likely has no plans to play for the Jets ever again — at least under the current regime. That's probably in the best interest of both sides.