The belief is pretty universal that Jordan Love will have the toughest job in the NFL this coming season.
The 24-year-old 2020 first-round draft pick from Utah State is replacing 4-time MVP quarterback and future first-ballot Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. And he’ll be expected to perform well and to win with a cast of pass catchers mostly more inexperienced than him. That’s a lot to put on the shoulders of a young man with only one NFL start and 83 career passes thrown.
Yet, hope springs eternal in the hearts and minds of many Green Bay Packers fans.
Hardcore fans believe in Jordan Love more than they do not, and that belief, to a large extent, is based more on wishful thinking than anything they’ve actually seen him do on the field. Because, again, he just hasn’t done a whole lot on the field.
Prior to being drafted, scouts were high on his raw physical tools and his elite NFL-ready athleticism. However, they were also noting the down sides to Love. Notably, the word “reckless” was tossed about in describing his field play. The Packers, though, were high enough on his potential that they traded up to acquire him in the draft, something which set off many fans at the time and even drew the ire of Aaron Rodgers, himself.
The feeling in the Packers front office was that Love would grow into the no. 1 quarterback spot and any recklessness would be tempered by maturity and experience. But the tag of being too confident for his own good persisted throughout his limited field time.
NFL analyst Matt Waldman described Jordan Love’s game play in 2021, in the lone start of his career, as– “Good result, bad process: Reckless, not daring.”
Early OTA performances this year show Jordan Love to be the Jordan Love most experts predicted him to be, good and bad.
But as things stand now, there’s no real Plan B for the Packers. Love is their guy and the team will sink or swim depending on his readiness to be the captain of the offense.
Some of his fellow players seem to be sold on Love, even if that requires a huge leap of faith and a heaping dose of denial.
“I think Jordan is a really good quarterback,” Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs told Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin’s Dennis Krause earlier this month. “When you go from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan, Aaron was a really great quarterback, but I believe Jordan can do the same exact thing. So I don’t really see what’s the big difference.”
The Doubs declaration didn’t sit well with many die-hard skeptics (or realists).
“Now, if you think for one second I’m going to sit here, act like I got love for Love, you have got another thing coming,” bellowed sports pundit Stephen A. Smith during an episode of NFL on ESPN. “Romeo Dobbs breath smelling like Similac, wet behind the ears.
“He [Love] hasn’t even thrown 100 passes in his NFL career. Romeo Doubs to sit there acting like there’s no difference between him and Aaron Rodgers. That’s just flat out ignorant.”
It would indeed be wise for fans to temper their expectations of Jordan Love and the Love-led Green Bay Packers. There’s a very good chance that the young quarterback will turn out to be good…but he may never be Aaron Rodgers-good.