When it comes to discussing the New York Jets’ inevitable appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks, perhaps there are few people more qualified to do so than Rex Ryan. While the now-former Jets coach is an analyst at ESPN, he became a larger-than-life figure in the world of football as he and his team leaned into participating in the HBO and NFL Films show when they featured on Hard Knocks in 2010.
We haven’t previously seen a team whose key figures (including head coach Robert Saleh and quarterback Aaron Rodgers) have been so vocally against participating in Hard Knocks until now. And according to Ryan, they aren’t alone in their objections. At least that’s what he recently told the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.
“No coach wants to do Hard Knocks,” Ryan told The Post. “Nobody wants to do it.”
The Jets have made it abundantly clear that they did not want to be featured on Hard Knocks, preferring if NFL Films and HBO sent their cameras to another team’s training camp. And that seems like it will reflect in their level of cooperation, as they have no desire to provide inside access for Hard Knocks, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently echoed in a less-than-stellar promo.
But even with their objections, they are being forced to do Hard Knocks because they are probably the most compelling team of the four that met the criteria. And that’s because of Rodgers, who agreed that there’s a certain level of appeal to the team, while ultimately surrendering to Hard Knocks, stating that it was “forced” down the Jets’ throats.
“I think Aaron Rodgers is going to be freaking great,” Ryan said. “Aaron Rodgers is extremely confident in himself. Yeah, he’s different, but so what? He embraces it. He ain’t a guy that is going to run from anything. He could care less. He’s going to be him and I think that’s great. I think people will enjoy it.”
It’s going to be hard for the Jets to top the standard that Ryan set nearly 13 years ago. However, the former NFL head coach seems to think that people will enjoy this rendition of the show, despite the team’s constant objections otherwise.