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Thomas Morstead Has Message for Jets' Teammates

Veteran punter knows what it's like to play with superstar quarterback

Thomas Morstead already has one Super Bowl ring, and he sure wouldn't mind another.

The New York Jets' veteran punter, whose famous successful onsides kick helped the New Orleans Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV, spoke as a featured guest on the Jets Country Podcast and ended the conversation by sending a message to his teammates.

"Just because we've got one of the greatest quarterbacks ever [Aaron Rodgers] playing for the team doesn't guarantee us anything. We've all got to go out and set the standard for ourselves and earn it," said Morstead entering his 15th pro season. "I think if everybody does that, in conjunction with the fact that we now have a phenomenal quarterback, we'll have a chance at maximizing what we think we can do and be."

Thanks to the addition of Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP, the Jets have become title contenders heading into the 2023 campaign. With Gang Green returning the key pieces from the NFL's fourth-ranked defense, team brass acquired the decorated 39-year-old field general in an attempt to spark the underperforming offense.

With someone of Rodgers's caliber at the controls, there appears to be a confidence in the air at 1 Jets Drive.

"I think there's just a legitimate hope and optimism. We know we're gonna have a chance this year," said Morstead.

The tenured punter has plenty of experience playing on a team led by a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback. Drew Brees, a statistical passing machine, held the starting role for all 12 seasons that Morstead spent with the Saints.

"I tried to not take that for granted in New Orleans," said Morstead, who has appeared in 16 NFL Playoff games. "There's something different about being on a team that knows they have a chance if they handle all the business they need to handle."

READ Three Former NFL MVPs Offer Aaron Rodgers Predictions

Morstead explained how the presence of quarterbacks like Rodgers and Brees can affect a teammate's mindset.

"When you have a guy that can take a game over, there's really no situation you can be in where you don't still have a chance [to win]," said Morstead. "When there's the reality of that, it allows guys to play free. It also adds a level of pressure and expectation for everybody to do their job."

Morstead suggested that the heightened pressure is a positive because it means "everything's on the line."

"You want to be scheduled for the primetime games. You want to have the expectations that you're trying to be a top seed in your conference. I think it just adds to the level of importance that every piece matters because opportunities like this don't come along very often," said the native Texan who was a fifth-round draft pick out of Southern Methodist in 2009.

As for the Jets' Super Bowl hopes?

"We're just going to focus on the process and let the results take care of themselves," said Morstead.


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