To play, or not to play? The progression of backup QB Jordan Love


Aaron Rodgers decision as to whether he will play for the Green Bay Packers affects far more than just Jordan Love.

Green Bay Packers’ Jordan Love watches Aaron Rodgers throw during NFL football practice Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Jordan Love has taken the most reps during OTA workouts as the top quarterback on the depth chart, for now. Last year’s first-round pick hasn’t spoken publicly yet, but according to multiple sources, that is likely to change next week. And something that is definitely apparent on the field? Love’s progression from last season.

“One thing we’ve really stressed onto him was reading with your feet. (Wednesday) was the first time we’ve had a competitive period that wasn’t 7-on-7, so I think there was definitely some learning for everybody on the offensive side,” said LaFleur. “So we’ll take a look at the tape, but I think he’s really attacking it the right way. The focus is there, the work ethic. He is grinding away and trying to get a little bit better each and every day.”

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has spent plenty of time with Love over the past two weeks and he also sees a marked improvement. “I think it’s just about being able to make the proper decisions, and understand its timing and accuracy. And all those things have definitely been better up to this point,” Hackett said. “And I think just the more experience, the more reps you can get, it’s going to help him, regardless of who’s out there. It’s just about coaching and understanding the concepts, different protections and the run game. There’s so much for him to be able to learn that it’s been great having him here and having the opportunity to help him out.”

Without Aaron Rodgers on the field, Hackett and the rest of the coaching staff have been taking advantage of the time to get their young quarterback as much valuable practice time as possible, and Love’s command of the offense is growing with every workout. “One of the bigger things with Jordan right now is just his confidence in the system. It’s just about being able to make the proper decisions and timing and accuracy. And all of those things have been better. Anytime you’re a coach, you have to coach everybody like a starter,” Hackett said. “That’s kind of always your intention. I think it’s a great opportunity for guys to get reps and opportunities out there to be able to develop. I think that’s what you’re always looking for.”

Love didn’t have the benefit of playing in any preseason games last August due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently, he was 3rd string behind Tim Boyle, which meant he never even suited up for a game. That is something that will change this year.

“Coming from college and then picking it up as a rookie and being able to have a whole season just to be able to learn that, so he can go out there and execute is so important. It’s something it, kind of takes that off his plate. Instead of trying to learn the verbiage and just understand how to call the plays, he can do that much easier now and then be able to go out there and execute them,” said Hackett. “And I think that’s something we’ve been able to see. So now we can talk about the techniques and the reads and all those intricate details that we want to get to him.”

No one knows for sure whether or not Rodgers will change his stance and report to Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp next week, but when asked about it again this week, LaFleur said, “I’ve got nothing to update on that situation, and you guys all know how we feel about it. I don’t know. We’ll see come Tuesday.”

In an interesting twist to the players taking part in voluntary workouts or mandatory minicamps, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians has taken on a different approach with Tom Brady this year. The future Hall of Famer had knee surgery in the off-season, and if he doesn’t participate as a player in next week’s mini-camp, he sees Brady taking part as an assistant coach. “I don’t know how much I’ll let him do with guys chasing him around,” Arians said. “We’ll see. We’ll see what the doctors say. He may be doing a lot of coaching.”

It’s safe to say that Rodgers trumps Brady in terms of statistics and his physical skill set on the field.

So that begs the question, what’s the qualifications when it comes to being the GOAT as a teammate?

Would you rather have a guy who is willing to do anything and everything to help his team get better during the offseason?

Or have one who isolates himself from the rest of the roster vacationing in Hawaii, while his teammates are hard at work preparing to make a run at a Super Bowl?

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