Hard Knocks may only cover training camp and the preseason, but the latest episode might have set up some regular-season beef. In the most recent episode of the New York Jets' season, portrayal of their preseason finale against the cross-town Giants riled up the G-Men. "Everybody going to get pissed off at that. The whole team was pissed off, you know what I'm saying?" Defensive End Jihad Ward said of how the show showcased an illegal block by the Jets' Randall Cobb. Cobb had hit safety Bobby McCain with an illegal blindside block. McCain was left concussed by the show focused on Aaron Rodgers seemingly laughing about it with his old Packers teammate.
"They know what they did. I know what [Cobb] did, coaches know what he did, my teammates know what he did," Ward said. "I'm the only one sticking up for [McCain]." Ward was also shown trading barbs with Rodgers and going as far as to lightly shove him at one point. "See, the thing is, they're going to entertain. They're going to show his part -- HBO, whatever stuff is going on, 'Hard Knocks.' They're going to show his part. They weren't even in the whole scenario of what really went down. They're going to show his side of the story. … It's all about Aaron Rodgers at the [end] of the day. They sign him, it is what it is. They're going to show his part and make me look like a sucker. But I ain't going for that."
Ward Vows Revenge
"My side of the story is I'm not going to let none of my teammates be backed down like that," he said. "I'm going to ride for my teammates." Meanwhile, Rodgers has claimed that he was only laughing because the penalty wouldn't have been called at the start of his and Cobb's careers. However, he told reports that he had also chastised Cobb for the hit. But Ward isn't sweating things too much.
"It's cool, though. That's how they roll. I think we play them soon, it is what it is," Ward concluded. Despite playing in the same stadium, the Jets and Giants only play each other every four years due to the NFL's inter-conference rotation. Therefore, their 2023 matchup will be the first 2019. Both teams have very different looks since that last meeting, now both standing as bona fide playoff contenders. They are set to face off in Week 8, on October 29. That should be far enough into the season to have established whether these two sides are legit this year.