Jordan Love will likely be the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers next season, after Aaron Rodgers said he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023. This would mark the first time the team doesn't have Rodgers as its starter since 2007, when Brett Favre was quarterback.
Rodgers has made his mark at Lambeau Field, winning a Super Bowl and breaking records, leaving big shoes to fill for Love.
Head coach Matt LaFleur says if it does end up with Love being the starter next season, he wants to manage expectations for the 24-year-old.
"[Rodgers' possible trade] is what it is, and at the same time, we're excited about Jordan and how he's been able to progress as a quarterback, how he's matured as a man," LaFleur said (via NFL.com). "It's going to be a different role for him, certainly, and I think we all have to kind of temper our expectations for him. It's different when you're going into a game versus when you're starting a game. It's going to be a process, but it's gonna be exciting for him, for us."
Love was drafted in 2020 with the No. 26 overall pick, surprising many with how early he was chosen given Rodgers' level of play. In the years since, the relationship between Rodgers and the Packers has taken a toll. Offseason comments from both parties make it clear that Rodgers wants to be elsewhere and the Packers are ready to enter into a new era with Love.
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The former first rounder has not seen much playing time. He didn't play in any games in 2020, then in 2021 he played in six games, starting one. Last season he made an appearance in four games, with no starts. Love is 50-for-83 with a 60.2 completion percentage in his NFL career, with three touchdowns, three interceptions, three sacks and three fumbles.
The Packers like what they see with Love, but are realistic given his lack of experience, specifically with starting games and being the main offensive leader. LaFleur wants to ensure Love has the support he needs to set him up for success.
"I don't think any quarterback can truly do it on their own in this league," LaFleur said. "So it's going to be everybody rallying around him and trying to be at the best of their ability so that he can go out there and perform as good as he possibly can."
LaFleur is optimistic about the trajectory Love has had so far, pointing out some strengths the QB has developed during his time with the Packers.
"He's come a long way, quite frankly," LaFleur said. "I know there were some times where early on, it's just, you don't know. I still think you have to go out there and you gotta do it consistently. It's one thing to do it in practice. It's another thing to take it to the game field and do it. But certainly have seen his performance in practice, his mechanics, his decisions, his timing within the pass game and just his accuracy. … I think he's come a long way."
Love does not have the starting job yet and until negotiations are final with Rodgers in New York, nothing is certain in Green Bay.
"I think [Love] just wanted to know what was going on," LaFleur said. "For a long period of time, I couldn't tell him because I didn't quite know where it was headed. I think there's obviously some clarity to it, but nothing's final yet."
Even without it being official, LaFleur is already planning on how he can get the best from the current backup.
"I think it's gonna be a work in progress, quite frankly," LaFleur said. "We're gonna have to be very intentional about what we ask him to do, about what we ask our guys to go."