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What happened on Episode 1 of Hard Knocks: Jets?

We recap the first episode of the HBO series, which began on Tuesday night.

Aaron Rodgers #8 of the New York Jets looks on during a delay in the second half of the 2023 Pro Hall of Fame Game against the Cleveland Browns at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on August 3, 2023 in Canton, Ohio. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Hard Knocks is an HBO series that follows an NFL team through the preseason. Teams are eligible to be picked if they haven’t been on the show in the last decade, haven’t made the playoffs in the last two seasons and if they don’t have a new head coach. NFL organizations can volunteer for the show, but many view it as distracting. The New York Jets were chosen as this year’s featured team for the show’s 19th season.

The first episode of the Jets’ season aired on Tuesday, August 8. While it can change year to year, the typical mesh of a Hard Knocks season involves checking in on the established veterans on the teams but focusing on the rookies striving to make the roster. New York’s first episode flipped that script. The team’s biggest offseason headline was the acquisition of veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was the episode's focal point. We got to see him practice, meet the “Voice of God” Liev Schreiber, and saw him don a headset on the sideline of the 2023 Hall of Fame Game against the Cleveland Browns.

While Rodgers was the main character in the episode, there was plenty more to tune in for. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson talked about winning last year’s AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award while going behind the scenes shooting a doughnut and coffee commercial. Viewers were treated to camp battles, and the mutual respect Wilson and cornerback Sauce Gardner have for each other as they look to make each other better day in and day out. Gardner was also shown returning for his graduation ceremony from the University of Cincinnati.

Rodgers ultimately was signed to replace the revolving quarterback door of Zach Wilson, Mike White, Joe Flacco and Chris Streveler from last season. Wilson was shown sparingly in this episode, but it has notably looked like he has progressed under Rodgers’ wing. The only other play that got some run time in the episode was LB Chaz Surratt. He was signed as a free agent and is looking to crack the 53-man roster. He had an interception in the Hall of Fame Game, which should help his case.

The next episode of Hard Knocks will air on Tuesday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and will be available to live stream on Max.