All of Florham Park is beaming because of one man: Aaron Rodgers. The future Hall of Fame quarterback recently commenced his first training camp with the Jets, who traded for him in April after he spent 18 years in Green Bay.
But his on-field presence hasn’t been all that enjoyable for everyone. The team on Tuesday practiced in pads for the first time all season, and starting defensive end Carl Lawson explained how it could actually be a “detriment” to face the new signal-caller.
“Sometimes I don’t even think I got better on the play because the ball gets out so fast,” the edge rusher said. “Sometimes, I’m not even getting better, because I’m not even getting out of my space by the time the ball is out. It might be a detriment to me to practice against him if you want the truth.”
He added: “It’ll get you better because you get the best of the best. I’m just giving you my real answer. Sometimes, it’s not fun. I want to rush the passer, but the ball is out before I can even get a step in the ground. It’s good for the defense, but for me, I want to work my move, but the ball is out.”
Let’s be honest: it’s not going to be easy for any of these defensive players. This is a starting unit — with many returnees — that needed to face the likes of Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and/or Mike White in practice last year. The unit isn’t used to facing quarterback play of this magnitude every day, and there’s only been one true day of actual padded camp football thus far. Not to mention the defense is also facing a new offensive coordinator (Nathaniel Hackett) with a new playbook.
Lawson may not enjoy it now, but the enhanced quarterback play in practice will ultimately help him improve. You’d rather have that than the defense dominating the offense after the splash moves Joe Douglas made this offseason.
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