The rumors have finally been confirmed and the New York Jets will be the stars of the 2023 version of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” While the team did not want to star in the show, the allure of the Jets’ potential storylines, including Aaron Rodgers’ arrival, Zach Wilson’s attempt to revive his career, Quinnen Williams’ contract negotiations, and the emergence of Sauce Gardner as an elite player appear to have been too much for the NFL and HBO to pass up.
In thinking about the upcoming “Hard Knocks” season, I thought back to the last time the Jets’ starred on the series back in 2010. While the current Jets team apparently does not want the documentary around, that team seemed to embrace it and it was fun. With that in mind, I wanted to remember some of the finer moments of that season in an attempt to bring some optimism to those who are concerned that the show will be a net negative on the team (which is not statistically supported as far as I know).
1. “Let’s get a snack” (warning: some explicit language contained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QPKh13p55Y)
Oh Rex Ryan. Say what you want, but the man has pizzazz. That team loved him, and this speech gives you an inkling as to why. Dude came out, told them that they could be as good as they wanted to be and that they could win in every phase of the game if they put their minds to it. Told them the only way that wouldn’t happen is if they weren’t taking it seriously enough. Has the room pin quiet... and then hits them with “Let’s get a snack” out of the blue. Iconic.
2. The Darrelle Revis contract negotiation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC7wm8fs_Dg
Obviously the Jets team officials know cameras are on and they likely play to the cameras to some degree. However, getting to see the inner workings of a deal even to a small degree is so cool. Rex Ryan basically taking control in a last ditch effort to get it done. Rex Ryan and Owner Woody Johnson trying to nail down the details of the next meeting including flying across the country. It completely failing and Rex losing his cool for a hot second and throwing some anger towards Revis’ agent. As a fan of the sport, just cool to see.
3. The return of Cornerback Darrelle Revis (warning: some explicit language contained): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUxcTMtPZNY
After months of agonizing about whether Revis would show up for any part of training camp (or the regular season for that matter), he does. I remember being thrilled about it as a fan. Seeing the players and coaches be happy about it though? Really cool.
4. Just seeing the personalities around the team
The infamous interview with cornerback Antonio Cormartie about his kids. Defensive lineman Kris Jenkins getting excited in practice. Quarterback Mark Sanchez doing one handed catches in practice for fun. That player they tied to a pole for being annoying. The ‘Big Ugly’ contest that was won by Offensive Guard Vlad Ducasse. It’s really easy to envision the players however you want on Sundays, but it’s really cool to see more about who they really are under the helmet.
At the end of the day, the 2023 New York Jets may or not benefit by the presence of “Hard Knocks.” What I’m pretty sure of is that it’ll be fun to watch the process play out as fans of the team being featured, especially if moments like the ones above can be captured again.
But these are also just some of my favorite moments from the last Hard Knocks run. Feel free to shout out some of yours in the comments.