‘He’s Ahmad right now’: Sauce Gardner must earn nickname first, claims Jets teammate
New York Jets rookie Ahmad Gardner might have brought his nickname into the NFL. But his teammates will make him earn the name out on the field.
“Sauce” Gardner has impressed Jets coach Robert Saleh during training camp, but that isn’t enough for his teammates. If he wants to be called Sauce, he needs to make a big play during the regular season.
“He’s Ahmad right now,” Jets defensive end Carl Lawson told NFL Network. “He’s Ahmad right now until he gets to the field. Until he plays and he balls out, then we’ll call him Sauce. But he’s Ahmad right now.”
Jets linebacker C. J. Mosley echoed this sentiment on Friday. “We told him if he gets two pick-sixes in the preseason, then we might give him Sauce,” Mosley said, via NFL.com. “And it’s got to be against the 1s, too, so no 2s, 3s, backups, all that. More than likely, we’ll start calling him Sauce when he makes a big play in the regular season.”
Gardner was the fourth overall pick of the Jets in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was a standout corner for the Cincinnati Bearcats program all three years he played there.
The Jets rookie didn’t allow a single touchdown throughout his three-year collegiate career. His play helped the Bearcats become the first non-Power Five team in history to qualify for the College Football Playoff.
The Jets hope Gardner will be a major piece moving forward for their defense. Saleh raved about the corner’s mentality in training camp thus far.
“Love where he’s at mentally,” the Jets coach told NFL Network. “He obviously has a long way to go in terms of understanding the game and all that stuff. But he’s a sponge and he’s taking it all in.”