There’s an old saying in boxing that “pressure bursts pipes.” The idea is that the application of steady, constant pressure will eventually wear a fighter down and cause his mental and physical collapse. History has proven this to be, very much, a truism.
Well, Green Bay Packers fans will get a chance to see if this axiom is true when it comes to new starting quarterback, 24-year-old Jordan Love as he replaces four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Love will be leading his team into a season where he’ll see five prime time TV dates and a Thanksgiving game with the Detroit Lions. He’ll also be seeing Packers’ arch rivals, The Chicago Bears, in the very first game of the season.
And he’ll be going to war as captain of the offense with a crew of pass catchers who, for the most part, have less NFL experience than him. As a matter of fact, the receiver crew is made up of nine players who were either drafted or signed as undrafted rookies in the 2021 or 2022 offseasons, and a tight end group with two rookies, featuring Josiah Deguara as the most experienced of the lot.
Love, who was drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, has only started one game in the pros and thrown 83 passes in his two years with the team (with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions). The pressure will be on him to will himself into being the leader his young offense needs.
The young quarterback has done work this offseason with some of his young pass catchers, learning the rhythm and tendencies of his receivers in anticipation of being named “the man” following the trade of Rodgers. He seems extremely poised for his age, saying all the right things so far this offseason and keenly aware of the pressure that awaits him.
“There’s only so many of you. So everyone’s watching you,” Love recently told The Chicago Tribune. “Everyone’s watching every move you make on the field, so it’s pressure. But that’s what comes with the position. That’s what I signed up for, that’s what I knew I was getting myself into and it comes down to me just making the most of that.”
A large part of his NFL education has come from watching Rodgers, something which he feels has made him not only a better ball player, but a better worker.
“I learned a lot,” Love said at a recent press conference, regarding his time behind Rodgers. “I was just able to watch a great quarterback and how he works every day, how he handles business in the locker room, interacts with teammates. How he attacked every day. Just being able to sit back and observe him. Observe his footwork, how the ball comes out of his hands, and just how he practices every day and take that into a game. It was very valuable stuff that I was able to sit for three years and pick his brain on and watch him work.”
Whatever the case, the former Utah State star says he’s focused on the present and on doing the best job possible.
“I have confidence in myself,” Love said. “I have confidence in the team. We are going to take it day by day. I can’t say what will happen this year, what might happen next year, who knows? But we have a really good team and I think we are going to be able to work together everyday and just grow.”
The pressure will be on Jordan Love this season and he’s definitely going to feel it. It could very well be the case that the pressure will “burst his pipe,” as they say in boxing.
However, there’s another saying in boxing about pressure, one that could also apply to the young quarterback– Pressure makes diamonds.