Green Bay, Wis. (WFRV) – Summer break is here for the Green Bay Packers, but still plenty of questions remain following the offseason program. The biggest hanging over the team between now and training camp, what will happen at quarterback and Aaron Rodgers.
Jordan Love got plenty of reps during the Optional Team Activities (OTA) and mandatory minicamp with the reigning MVP sitting out and reports he doesn’t want to return to Green Bay. There were plenty of ups and downs for Love during those practices, but ultimately the message from his head coach.
“You’re only one play away, and you always have to prepare like you’re the starter. Just to be very intentional about the work that you put in, to go out there with a purpose, to be mindful in the moment. Every rep for him is so critical, whether it’s on air or on his own, or it’s with us in 11-on-11 situation. I think he’s done a great job of embracing the whole situation, learning from every rep,” said LaFleur.
How those reps will be distributed during training camp will be a big factor for either Love or Rodgers. LaFleur said during his Zoom press conference on Thursday they are going forward with their one plan for camp regardless of the uncertainty at quarterback.
They do have plenty of options at quarterback too. That’s with a total of five, including Rodgers, currently on the roster.
“There’s so many other components besides the 11-on-11 team drills, the 7-on-7. You’re throwing routes on air. As good as I thin I can throw the ball, or Luke Getsy can throw the ball, you want NFL quarterbacks throwing those to the receivers, backs, whoever it might be. So, you need those arms. I’m sure as we get closer to training camp things could become a little more clear for us, we potentially could make an adjustment there. You’re right, it is tough to get four quarterbacks the reps that they need. That’s why when they get those opportunities to go in there and play they’ve got to take advantage of them,” said LaFleur.
Another group that definitely benefited from actually having an offseason program this year was the defense. Many of the starters did not participate in the OTA practices, but were able to get on the field during mandatory minicamp to work with the new defense installed by Joe Barry.
“Joe’s done a great jog incorporating like-terms. So, it’s not a totally new system for our guys. I think our assistant coaches of knowing the ins and outs, the details, and being able to convey that and communicate that to our players. Ultimately they’re the ones that make the thing go, and they’ve got to know the details, and be able to communicate the adjustments in order for us to be at our best. Really excited about where it could go, but we’ll find out week one,” said LaFleur.
The offseason program provided valuable reps for the rookie class this year. Something that seems even more valuable after last year’s virtual offseason. Still, while the coaching staff did get to see the new crop on the field, it’s still offseason workouts in shorts and a helmet.
“We’re excited about them, certainly, and you get more excited when you get to be around them and get to know their personality and just how they compete, the work that they put in. You couldn’t ask for better guys, but ultimately it’s how it translates to the field. It’s how it translates in those preseason games, and then making the most of their opportunities. It’s our jobs as coaches to put these guys in the best position possible, and then they’ve got to go out there and execute,” said LaFleur.
Those next opportunities will come after the team reports back for training camp in late July.