Ever since the Aaron Rodgers news exploded on the scene just over a month ago, there is another side to the equation that will be crucial to the Packers’ plans should Rodgers indeed not return.
Where exactly is Jordan Love at in his development?
Judging by what coaches and general manager Brian Gutekunst have told the media, he’s better than last year but no one actually knows.
Thanks to COVID-19 eliminating the preseason last year and Love being inactive for every single game, Love has yet to put anything on tape from an NFL game. For a team that has their franchise quarterback and one of the best of all time teetering on leaving for good, that is not a good sign.
The organization has made it clear Love has a ways to go but have also gone out of their way to repeatedly praise his growth and work ethic. Reading between the lines, one would assume his trajectory is positive but he is not ready for prime time.
In Love’s defense, his position is ironically similar to where Rodgers himself was in his second year when Brett Favre hemmed and hawed on retiring in 2006 before eventually returning to the fold. If anyone remembers how Rodgers played in 2006 in limited action, he wasn’t exactly the lethal passer he is today.
In short, patience is still needed with Love but he is by no means a wasted pick yet. It remains to be seen if Love will ultimately start given the ongoing stalemate between the team and Rodgers, but if he isn’t ready yet the Packers will have to adapt and quickly.
The first team reps in OTAs are obviously beneficial to Love and depending on what happens next week with minicamp, he might get those as well. It’s been evident Love has work to do to get where coaches want him to be but making the best of this awkward situation is best for all present at practice.
As the standoff was in its early stages, the Packers got Rodgers (or maybe Love) a weapon with the same last name and how Amari Rodgers could be used in the Packers’ offense has coaches and fans salivating at the potential.
Should Love take over as QB1, he will be supported by an elite offensive line anchored by an All-Pro that can play all five positions on the line. That is a truly special thing to have in the league.
Don’t be surprised if The Smith Brothers gives way to (Za’Darius) Smith and Gary. What would that nickname be?
Now that’s good bass!