Skip to content

Aaron Rodgers hits back at Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton: 'Keep my coaches' names out of your mouth'

Aaron Rodgers fired back at Sean Payton, saying: "It made me feel bad that someone who's accomplished a lot is that insecure that they have to take another man down to set themselves up for some sort of easy fall"; Payton had been highly critical of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers participates in a drill during a practice at the NFL football team's training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Image: Aaron Rodgers has responded to a war of words with Sean Patyon. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Aaron Rodgers defended offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett after the latter recently was slated by Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton.

The New York Jets quarterback responded to the critical comments Denver Broncos' head coach Payton recently made about Hackett.

On Thursday Payton told USA Today that Hackett's 15-game stint with the Broncos last season "was one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL".

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Image: New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers works with Nathaniel Hackett

The Broncos were 4-11 when they fired Hackett and finished 5-12.

Payton also said there were "20 dirty hands" around Russell Wilson's career-worst season, and directed some pointed remarks at the Jets - Hackett's new team where he and Rodgers are reunited after enjoying success together at Green Bay.

Payton subsequently apologized for his comments on Friday. However Rodgers didn't let it end there.

"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 sort of easy fall if it doesn't go well for that team this year," Rodgers told NFL Network.

Also See:

"I think it was way out of line, inappropriate, and I think he needs to keep my coaches' names out of his mouth."

Rodgers, acquired by New York in April from Green Bay, said Hackett is "arguably my favourite coach I've ever had in the NFL".

They worked together for two of Rodgers' four NFL MVP awards in 2020 and 2021 with the Packers.

Payton also criticized the Jets for being the latest NFL team "trying to win the offseason" - something he said the Broncos tried to do under Hackett and were "embarrassed".

On Thursday Jets coach Robert Saleh said: "Hackett's doing a phenomenal job here."

He added: "There's a lot of people that are hating on us and a lot of people looking for us to fail."

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers speaks to reporters after a practice at the NFL team's training facility (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Image: Rodgers said Hackett is "arguably my favourite coach I've ever had in the NFL"

Payton on Friday said he regretted the remarks in which he disparaged Hackett, and said he would reach out to him and Saleh "at the right time".

"Listen, I had one of those moments where I still had my Fox hat on and not my coaching hat," said Payton, who's returning to the sideline this season after a year's sabbatical during which he worked as a studio football analyst for Fox Sports following a 15-year stint with the New Orleans Saints.

Rodgers told NFL Network he thought Payton's initial comments "were very surprising, for a coach to do that to another coach".

Meanwhile, the back-and-forth makes the Jets' matchup in Denver in Week 5 on October 8 a bit spicier.

Payton acknowledged it "certainly will bring more interest to the game when we play them, but that seems like years from now".

Around Sky