The Green Bay Packers know better than any other franchise how difficult it is to move on from a Hall of Fame quarterback. After all, they already have three in Canton (Arnie Herber, Bart Starr, and Brett Favre) and another on the way (eventually) in Aaron Rodgers. The last two, Favre and Rodgers, of course have come back-to-back and have given Green Bay 30 straight years of Hall of Fame level play.
That being said, it wasn’t all sunshine, rainbows, and playoff appearances under Favre and Rodgers. They each had seasons in which they took their lumps, and each of their respective first seasons are among them. NBC Sports’ Peter King, though, believes that Love’s first season will be shakier than his predecessors’ for two main reasons.
Peter King Gives 2 Reasons Why Jordan Love’s First Seasons as the Green Bay Packers’ Starter Will Be Shaky
To be clear, Peter King is not saying that Love will be a bust in Green Bay or that he won’t be a good quarterback. Instead, King identifies two challenges that Love is facing that will make this season a shaky one. The first, we have already touched on: following in the footsteps of two consecutive Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
The second is in regards to the inexperience of the Packers’ pass catchers. King writes:
“I expect Love will have a shakier first year than Favre’s in 1992 (8-5, 85.3 rating) or Rodgers’ in 2008 (6-10, 93.8). Outside of the veteran backfield, Love’s skill group is incredibly green. It’s likely that each of Green Bay’s top five pass-catchers will be a product of the last two drafts: wideouts Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs (drafted in 2022) and slot receiver Jayden Reed (’23), with two rookies — Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft — likely to be the top tight ends. (Musgrave has had a monster camp.) Some teams skew young, but imagine Love’s dual challenges: following two Hall-of-Famers at sports’ toughest position to master, and relying on five receivers age 24, 23, 23, 22 and 22.”
The inexperience in the wide receiver and tight ends rooms was made even more complicated on Friday night when Tyler Davis tore his ACL. He was, by default, the most veteran member of the tight end and wide receiver rooms.
When Aaron Rodgers took over for Brett Favre, he had a good mix of veterans and young players making up his group of pass catchers. Rookies Jordy Nelson and JerMichael Finley joined third-year wide receiver Greg Jennings and second-year wide receiver James Jones as a crew of young pass catchers that had veterans Donald Driver and Donald Lee.
When Brett Favre became the starting quarterback in 1992, the only rookie pass catcher he had was wide receiver Robert Brooks. In 1993, his first full year as a starter, the only rookie pass catcher added was tight end Mark Chmura.
Notice that there is no questioning of Love’s talent or ability to be the Packers’ starting quarterback for years to come. Rather, King is pointing out and providing evidence for things that Green Bay has been saying all offseason: they are young and they will need to be patient.
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