Aaron Rodgers Bashes “Insecure” Sean Payton Over Shocking Coach Barbs

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers stepped into the spotlight once again. This time, it was with good reason as he defended his offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, and fired back at Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton for his recent controversial comments.

In a sit-down interview with NFL+ after practice, Rodgers didn’t hold back in expressing his disappointment in Payton’s critical remarks about Hackett and the 2022 Broncos coaching staff.

“It made me feel bad that someone who has accomplished a lot in the league is that insecure that they have to take another man down to set themselves up for some easy fall if it doesn’t go well for that team this year. I think it was way out of line, inappropriate, and I think he needs to keep my coaches’ names out of his mouth.”

The controversy began when Payton criticized Hackett’s coaching during his 15-game run with the Broncos last season, calling it “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.”

Payton also took a jab at the Jets, suggesting they were obsessed with the “pomp and circumstance” of their offseason, which included the acquisition of Rodgers, and referred to them as a “dream team” doomed to fail.

Rodgers, who has a close relationship with Hackett, expressed his surprise at Payton’s remarks, stating, “It’s very surprising for a coach to do that to another coach.”

The quarterback’s bond with Hackett goes back to their time together in Green Bay from 2019 to 2021, where Hackett served as the Packers’ offensive coordinator under Matt LaFleur, helping Rodgers win two NFL MVP titles.

“He’s arguably my favorite coach I’ve ever had in the NFL,” Rodgers said about Hackett. “Just his approach to it. He makes it fun, how he cares about the guys, just how he goes about his business with respect, with leadership, with honesty, with integrity.”

While Payton eventually apologized for his remarks, calling them “a mistake,” the incident ignited a firestorm within the Jets organization, with head coach Robert Saleh also voicing his support for Hackett.

Saleh confidently responded to Payton’s comments, saying, “If you ain’t got no haters, you ain’t popping. So hate away. Obviously, we’re doing something right if you’ve got to talk about us when we don’t play you until Week 5.”

The Jets and Broncos are indeed scheduled to face off in Week 5 in Denver, setting the stage for a highly anticipated showdown between the two teams. As the controversy rages on, Rodgers and Hackett remain focused on their preparation for the upcoming season, aiming to prove their critics wrong and silence the doubters.

What is your take on Payton’s comments?

There’s nothing he said that isn’t true. However, it was still surprising that he actually felt the need to make those comments, especially publicly. 

If it was all a tactic to instill confidence in quarterback Russell Wilson and the entire team, he could have done it behind closed doors.

Regardless, I’m sure Hackett is feeling much better knowing that Rodgers has his back.