The Green Bay Packers 2023 season has been one to forget so far. After starting out 2-1, the team has dropped four straight in embarrassing fashion. The offense led by Jordan Love has been a mess but former Packers receiver James Jones isn’t putting it all on Love. Jones bashed Matt LaFleur’s play calling in an appearance on The Herd.
Former Green Bay Packers WR James Jones On Matt LaFleur
Jones thinks that LaFleur’s approach is too safe. The playbook is limited and plays can be telegraphed by opponents.
“Coach LaFleur is going to have to take the training wheels off of him[Love]. You’re gonna have to stop calling the game safe, you’re gonna have to open up this playbook and let him go out there and be able to throw this ball all over the yard and see if he really can do it. When I watch tape right now, it’s a lot of safe play calling…at some point we have to find out.
We’re halfway through the season we gotta find out if he can really handle all this. And coach Lafluer is going to have to do a better job of opening his playbook up. He has receivers, he has running backs, you’re gonna have to open this thing up to see if Jordan Love really can do it.”
He has a point. We are halfway through the 2023 season and even GM Brian Gutekunst admitted that they don’t know on Love yet. If the Packers get a top pick, they need to know whether they should go quarterback or build around Love. There is one part of Jones’ analysis that I personally disagree with.
Skill Positions Have To Play Better
Jones mentions that Love has the pieces around him. While I mostly agree, those pieces aren’t playing well. They lead the league in drops. Not much Love can do if he is hitting his receivers in the hands and they aren’t catching the ball. The offensive line is whiffing blocks left and right. Not much the running backs can do if they are immediately met by a lineman in the hole. The playbook should be opened and the play calling should be less predictable. However, players simply have to play better if Love is going to be successful.
Jones is just the latest person to begin to question LaFleur’s methods. He also has the rest of the season to show that he can be an elite head coach in the NFL.