Aaron Rodgers didn’t take too kindly to the comments Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton made about current New York Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Payton torched Hackett and the Broncos’ 2022 coaching staff in an interview with USA Today. Rodgers is a longtime Hackett supporter from their days with the Green Bay Packers. Hackett was the Packers’ offensive coordinator, and took the Broncos head coaching job last year, but after he was fired, came to the Jets along with Rodgers.
The four-time MVP was at Jets training camp on Sunday talking with NFL Network’s Peter Schrager when he torched Payton for his comments.
"Yeah, I love Nathaniel Hackett. And, those comments were very surprising for a coach to do that to another coach," Rodgers said. "My love for Hackett goes deep. We had some great years together in Green Bay. Kept in touch. Love him and his family – incredible family man, incredible dad.
"And on the field, he’s arguably my favorite coach I’ve ever had in the NFL – his approach to it, how he makes it fun. How he cares about the guys. Just how he goes about his business – with respect, with leadership, with honestly, with integrity.
"And, it made me feel bad that someone who’s accomplished a lot in the league is that insecure that they have to take another man down to set themselves up for some sort of easy fall if it doesn’t go well for that team this year. I thought it was way out of line, inappropriate and I think he needs to keep my coaches’ names out of his mouth."
Payton apologized on Friday after he called the Broncos’ 2022 season "one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL."
"Listen, I had one of those moments where I still had my Fox hat on and not my coaching hat on," Payton said. "I said this to the team: We've had a great offseason relative to that, I've been preaching that message, and here I am the veteran stepping in it. It was a learning experience for me, a mistake, obviously. I need a little bit more filter.
"I needed a bit more restraint, I regret that."