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Hardman rips Jets' offense: 'There's no standard there'

Cooper Neill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Despite becoming a Super Bowl hero after rejoining the Kansas City Chiefs, veteran receiver Mecole Hardman still has a bad taste from his brief tenure with the New York Jets this season.

During a recent appearance on the "The Pivot" podcast, Hardman criticized Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's game plan after quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the 2023 campaign.

"I just feel like it's not an established coaching staff there," Hardman said. "You just got a new coaching staff that came in, and there's no standard there. Everybody do what they want to do. Granted, the defense has more of a stabilized standard with the coaching staff on that side. ... But the offense is just like, 'We'll just figure it out. It's Aaron's show. Let Aaron do what Aaron does.' Then, when Aaron goes down, it's like we don't know what to do."

The Jets offense finished 29th in points per contest (15.8) and 31st in total yards (268.6) in 2023.

Hardman highlighted the contrast between the Jets' and Chiefs' personnel, saying that Kansas City rosters far more selfless players despite having large personalities like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Chris Jones. The fifth-year wideout added that New York had too many egos in its locker room.

After spending four campaigns with the Chiefs, the 25-year-old signed a one-year, $4-million contract with the Jets as a free agent in March 2023. Hardman was expected to be a reliable weapon alongside Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard in a passing game featuring Rodgers under center. However, Rodgers' injury put New York's postseason ambition on uneven ground.

Hardman recorded just one reception on three targets for six yards in five games with the Jets. He pointed to a dispute with special teams coordinator Brant Boyer as an additional source of frustration while in New York.

"I was so checked out. ... I already talked to (Chiefs GM Brett) Veach, Pat (Mahomes), like, 'Come get me,'" Hardman said.

Kansas City reacquired Hardman via trade last October. The former Georgia star saved his best moment in his second stint with the Chiefs for Super Bowl LVIII. He made three catches for 58 yards and was on the receiving end of the game-winning touchdown to secure the third championship title of his career.

Although Hardman is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, he's already ruled out a reunion with New York as a possible outcome.

"No, I won't go back to the Jets," Hardman recently told NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano.

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