Let’s just put it delicately and say Love has a long way to go in filling the big shoes of Rodgers and Brett Favre before him as the signal-caller in Titletown.
Mind you, this isn’t against a defense that’s fully in sync yet. Green Bay is converting to a new system under new coordinator Joe Barry, yet it didn’t take much to rattle the 2020 first-round pick.
To be fair to Love, he was put in an awkward position by how the Packers front office handled their decision to trade up and draft him — namely, not telling Rodgers about it beforehand. That laid the groundwork for the current spat between the historic franchise and their all-time great QB.
Nevertheless, Demovsky wasn’t the only one to offer a discouraging account of Love’s initial minicamp performance. The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman painted a similarly unfavorable picture of how Love’s Tuesday unfolded:
No quarterback is under more of a microscope than Love. He didn’t have a preseason in 2020, nor did he get many practice reps in the No. 3 spot on the depth chart. That doesn’t seem like an ideal way for Love to develop, so it’s not breaking news that he still looks raw entering Year 2 of his young career.
Green Bay Packers have managed to mishandle Jordan Love and Aaron Rodgers
It’s a pretty spectacular failure when an organization can not only upset the face of the franchise, but also do everything possible to set his successor up to flop.
That’s what the Packers have done. Head coach Matt LaFleur offered up a fairly simple yet effective summary about the Rodgers drama on Tuesday, per theScore:
Speaking about Love, LaFleur said, per Demovsky, “He needs every rep he can get right now. He’s a young quarterback that was not afforded a preseason last year. Give him as many as he can handle. I just think every rep he takes is so valuable and he can learning something from the good and the bad.”
LaFleur has done nothing but win since he landed in Green Bay, posting consecutive 13-3 records and leading the Pack to two straight NFC Championship Game berths. Criticize him and the front office all you want, but at least the decision to hire LaFleur was the right one.
For all the credit Green Bay deserves for getting that decision right, it’s just baffling that president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst lacked the wherewithal to deftly handle their QB situation.
Love isn’t ready yet, and if he starts in 2021, a team that seemed destined to contend for a Super Bowl could suddenly be on course for a losing record. Then, the Packers run the risk of losing superstar receiver Davante Adams in free agency next offseason if things go south.
The more Love struggles to open minicamp, the greater Rodgers’ leverage becomes to get a firmer commitment from Green Bay. No one wins if Rodgers is forced to sit out in 2021, and trading him may even yield a better QB than Love is at this point.