NY Jets players are legitimately starstruck by Aaron Rodgers
By Justin Fried
For many NY Jets players who grew up watching and perhaps even idolizing Aaron Rodgers, the opportunity to share the same locker room with the future Hall of Famer has no doubt been a humbling experience.
Jets fans are still pinching themselves that one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time is now a member of their favorite team's organization. As it turns out, many of the players are doing the same as well.
Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson told reporters on Wednesday that there was "for sure" a little bit of a starstruck feeling when he first saw Rodgers at the Jets' facilities. Apparently, it didn't sink in that Rodgers was his quarterback until he caught his first pass from him.
Wilson isn't alone. Linebacker Quincy Williams echoed that sentiment, telling reporters that he was "starstruck a little bit" when he first saw Rodgers on the practice field.
These Jets players are out there living their dreams, and now they're doing so alongside a player who many watched play as kids. For some, like Zach Wilson, Rodgers was their childhood idol.
It's a surreal time for both Jets fans and Jets players.
Aaron Rodgers has reignited the NY Jets organization in the same way the organization has reinvigorated him
The Rodgers acquisition has breathed new life into a Jets' organization that has been desperate for a savior at the quarterback position for decades.
From Zach Wilson to Sam Darnold to Geno Smith to Mark Sanchez to a host of other former top draft picks who fell short of expectations, the Jets have been through a cycle of QB misery for years.
Rodgers is seen as the solution. He may not be a long-term solution, but he doesn't have to be.
Meanwhile, the Jets have returned the favor to their new quarterback. Rodgers appeared to be going through the motions at times during his final year in Green Bay. He seemed lethargic and, quite frankly, unmotivated.
That doesn't appear to be the case anymore. A smile hasn't left Rodgers' face since his introductory press conference last week. He's become a regular at New York sporting events, said all the right things to the media, and has held true to his promise to attend the Jets' offseason program.
Rodgers hadn't been in attendance for the voluntary portion of the Packers' offseason program in years, but this version of Rodgers seems dead set on proving his doubters wrong. He wants to carve out a legacy in New York separate from the one he created in Green Bay.
The Jets aren't a retirement home for Rodgers — they're a much-needed change of scenery.
Soon enough, his awestruck teammates will be the ones helping him attempt to lead the Jets to football glory this season.