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Green Bay Packers coach praises Jordan Love with Aaron Rodgers still absent

It’s possible that Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was trying to send a message to disgruntled quarterback Aaron Rodgers during his media session on Thursday.

Hackett spoke to those on hand for the Packers’ voluntary minicamp in Wisconsin, praising second-year quarterback Jordan Love over the improvement he has displayed from a year ago.

“I think it’s just about being able to make the proper decisions, and understand it’s timing and accuracy. And all those things have definitely been better up to this point,” Hackett told reporters, via NFL Media. “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.”

We could be reading more into this during the slow time on the NFL calendar. But it’s clear that Hackett had Rodgers in mind when he said “regardless of who’s out there.”

By now, it’s known that Rodgers remains away from the Packers after requesting a trade in late-April. The reigning NFL MVP has also been vocal about his criticism of the culture within the organization recently.

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Of course, a lot of this stems from the Green Bay Packers trading up for Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. This did not sit well with Rodgers and is likely something that initiated the divisiveness we see today.

A product of Utah State, Love did not see any action on the football field as a rookie. The preseason was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he didn’t take a regular-season snap. It’s also important to note that early offseason programs were canceled in the lead up to training camp. Now on the field and ready to show the Packers what he has, Love is exceeding expectations.

“One of the bigger things with Jordan right now is just his confidence in the system,” Hackett said. “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,” Hackett continued. “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.”

Are the Green Bay Packers sending a message to Aaron Rodgers?

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Jan 16, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) against the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Divisional Round at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s more than likely that this is simply Hackett’s way of lifting up his young quarterback. With that said, recent reports suggested that the Packers’ brass doesn’t feel like Love is in any way prepared to be a starter. It’s one of the reasons they are said to be demanding a quarterback in any hypothetical trade.

As of right now, the Packers have pushed back against trading Aaron Rodgers at every turn. Unless something happens on this front in the near future, the focus will turn to whether the reigning NFL MVP joins his team for mandatory minicamp next week, and ultimately, training camp in late July.

In terms of what Love means for Rodgers’ future in Green Bay, further improvement during offseason workouts could help expedite the latter’s departure from Wisconsin. However, that seems highly unlikely at this point.