The Green Bay Packers have been heavily criticized by fans and the media ever since draft night in 2020 when they drafted quarterback Jordan Love out of the University of Utah State. Were they rightfully criticized? The simple answer is yes but at the same time they may not have been. People do not look into all the details about why this pick was made. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was coming off three bad seasons. In 2017 Rodgers broke his collarbone when the Packers were 4-1 at that point and ended the season with a record of 7-9.
In 2018 Rodgers was injured in the first half of week one against the Chicago Bears. Rodgers basically had a broken leg but to be specific the injury Rodgers had was a tibial plateau fracture and sprained MCL in his left knee. To put in perspective, JJ Watt, Arizona Cardinals defensive end, had the same injury and missed the season. Now, back to Rodgers, he played the whole season on a broken leg. Rodgers’s statistics for the 2018 season were 25 touchdowns two interceptions on 597 attempts having 372 completions for 4,442 yards. Now that may seem good, but we all know this was a down year for Rodgers. Let’s keep in mind that Rodgers is coming off two injuries and the Packers having two rough years. The Packers record in 2018 was 6-9-1. 2018 was the season that Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was fired as Packers head coach. Then here comes new Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. He leads the Packers to a 13-3 season and losing in the NFC championship game to the San Francisco 49ers. Rodgers’s stats in 2019 were 26 touchdowns four interceptions on 569 attempts completing 353 of those attempts for 4,002 yards. Again, not terrible but not up to what Rodgers is incapable of.
Looking at those last three seasons for Rodgers it looks like he is on the decline with injuries and his play, and his career may be coming to an end. Then comes the offseason talk that the Packers need more offensive help, and they end up taking Love and get bashed. At the time it was a good pick with how Rodgers last three seasons went. Looking at the pick now everyone makes fun of the Packers as Rodgers has won back-to-back MVPs. On top of that, Love has not looked the best when he has had playing time. Let’s go back, way back, to when Rodgers was selected. A lot of the same things happened with the Packers getting bashed, Rodgers not playing well, everyone wondering why Rodgers was picked when they had Brett Favre. A lot of the same similarities, right? Cris Collinsworth even went on to say on national television “You aren’t going to win a lot with Aaron Rodgers playing quarterback, unless things change drastically”. Boy, did things change drastically. So maybe we should put on the brakes of Love slander as Rodgers did not show glimpses of potential till his third year.
Now that Love is in his third year, maybe he is showing signs of potential? Early on in camp Packers beat writers have been raving about how much more confident Love has looked as well as some better decision making and better ball placement. LaFleur was asked about his third-year quarterback and said he has seen much improvement in Love starting with his accuracy, being in rhythm, being much more decisive, making good decisions. LaFleur says it all starts in Love’s footwork which is much improved and that may have something to do with Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements who also by the way coached Rodgers when Rodgers first got in the league. Coincidence? Maybe or maybe not but maybe Clements just knows how to develop quarterbacks. Rodgers has even seen the improvement on Love’s game and had this to say about Love, “The tracks are looking more similar by the day, him being in his third year, and me waiting behind Brett for three years.”
The Love hype train is going through Lambeau as the other day someone received a text from someone within the Packer facility saying, “Jordan Love is no joke”. Everyone is seeing Love grow and start to show potential but until Love shows what everyone is seeing at camp, on national television it will not matter. Now let’s say the Love hype train is real and Love proves to be the next guy, what do the Packers do? Rodgers just signed a five-year extension and said this extension will make it so he retires a Packer. Rodgers was recently on the Pardon My Take Podcast and stated that he wanted to play three, maybe four more years. Could Rodgers have been kidding? Maybe.
If Rodgers is being serious the Packers may have a problem but a good one with two very good quarterbacks but at the same time could be a bad problem as the Packers will have to choose between Rodgers and Love. The way to think about this possible problem is that Rodgers could retire any year and no other young quarterback will have the same amount of time to sit behind Rodgers and learn and soak up the knowledge of an all-time great. The situation would be Favre and Rodgers all over again. Choose between the all-time great and fan favorite for many years that has brought a lot of great memories to people or the young guy that could be the next Packer great and keep the Packers competitive for years to come with the knowledge soaked up from an all time great. Best case scenario for the Packers? Packers win the Super Bowl and Rodgers retires on top within the next two years and hands the reins to Love. If Love is the guy of course. For now, let’s enjoy the Love hype train and see if he really has it when he suits up to start preseason game number one against the 49ers and throughout the rest of the preseason. Plus enjoying the greatness of Rodgers as someday that greatness will be gone.