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It’s obvious that the New York Jets think highly of cornerback Ahmad Gardner seeing as how they drafted him fourth overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. That doesn’t mean they’re going to give him superstar treatment, however, which is why they’re making him earn his well-known nickname ‘Sauce.’
The Jets aren’t disregarding his nickname out of disrespect, instead, they’re using the situation to motivate him. It’s not the coaching staff or management who implemented the no-nickname strategy, either, it’s his fellow teammates.
“He’s Ahmad until the season starts and he makes a play,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “Ahmad it is.”
Gardner has been through this same situation before in having to earn his ‘Sauce’ nickname from teammates.
While friends and family have called him ‘Sauce’ since he was six years old, it wasn’t until he managed a pick-six as a freshman at Cincinnati when coaches and teammates started using the nickname.
While Mosley isn’t quite ready to start calling him ‘Sauce’ just yet, he’s been impressed with the rookie.
“Ahmad has some sauce to him, that’s for sure,” Mosley explained. “On the field, he’s working all the time. He’s on the sideline asking questions. Off the field, he’s very confident, as well. He’s a very smart player, and you respect that a lot. He doesn’t try to act like he knows everything. He listens and tries to do the right thing.”
It’s a safe bet that his Jets teammates will be calling Gardner ‘Sauce’ by Week 1.
During his three seasons at Cincinnati, the 21-year-old had nine interceptions and 99 tackles while being one of the most dominant lockdown corners we’ve seen in quite a while.