Green Bay Packers CEO and President Mark Murphy made quite the wave in the news last week when talking about Jordan Love. When discussing how long it would take for the Packers to know what they had in Love, he said that it would take about eight weeks. In other words, Love has eight weeks to prove that he can be the starting quarterback in Green Bay for the long-run.
This statement drew a lot of criticism from some fans who recalled that Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst, and head coach Matt LaFleur all said at various points of the offseason that it would be important for them and the fans to have patience with Love in his first year as a starter.
Packers Hall of Famer Gilbert Brown, too, did not feel like this comment about an eight-week timetable were very fair, as discussed on “Under the Helmet with the Gravedigger” on The Earl Ingram Show.
Green Bay Packers Legend Gilbert Brown Says Timetable for Jordan Love Is Not Mark Murphy’s Decision to Make
At the beginning of the show, Ingram asked Gilbert what he thought about Murphy’s comments regarding the timetable for Love to prove he is a successful quarterback. Gilbert responded:
“I’m going to tell you this, man. I like Mark Murphy. I really do not. But that is not his lane. He’s got to stay in his lane.
“That is something for the pretty boy, LaFleur, to say. But here’s the thing, man. When Brett Favre took over the helm, they didn’t say that about him. When Aaron Rodgers took over the helm, they didn’t say that about him.
“You to see, man, they’re stacking up things to put it all on him. I mean, Jordan Love, he’s fighting against the team and he’s fighting against the fans, when we all should just be letting this kid play football. Lay as it lay, you know what I’m saying?
“The team is on his back about ‘You going to have half a season.’ You got, ‘We went out and drafted a quarterback.’ You got the best quarterback in the USFL behind him. That’s putting pressure on him.
“I mean, it’s all about he’s going to handle it. But then you got the fans, ‘You’re not going to be as good as Aaron Rodgers. We don’t know what’s going on with you. You is unproven.’
“And he’s in the middle of all of that, and they’re going to put this on him?”
Ingram, playing devil’s advocate, argued that there are a lot of young quarterbacks that get thrown into starting roles right away and do well. Meanwhile, this is Love’s fourth year. It stands to reason that he should be able to show them something within a short time-frame.
Gilbert responded, “None of them had Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback. They had dudes from up in the stands playing in front of them.”
Which is a good point. Every single rookie quarterback that gets a starting job gets it because the guy in front of them was not very good. Love came into a situation in Green Bay where one of the greatest players of all time was starting ahead of him.
All of these points aside, though, what was, in my opinion, troubling about Murphy’s comment is that it flew in the face of everything that himself, Gutekunst, and LaFleur said about patience with Love all offseason. How can one say that patience will be important, that there will be an understandable learning curve, and then pull out the rug and say, “He’s got eight weeks.”
Furthermore, Murphy has got to have faith, not just in Love, but in LaFleur and Tom Clements, the quarterbacks coach. Clements famously un-retired to come back and coach Rodgers again. Once Rodgers left, he could have retired again, but he stayed because of Jordan Love:
“I came back and enjoyed it, enjoyed working with Jordan and the other quarterbacks,” Clements said. “Any time you can coach a guy and you think you can help him, and it looks like you’ve helped him a little bit, that’s gratifying.”
Listen, we’re all anxious for the regular season and finally see Love lead the Packers offense. But until then, we have to do just what Gilbert said we should do: “Let this kid play football.”