When the Green Bay Packers traded up to take Jordan Love in the first round of last year’s draft, it sent shockwaves through the fanbase. Little did anyone know, at the time, that it would be nearly 18 months before anyone got to see Love in an actual game. Thanks to the COVID pandemic, the 2020 preseason was cancelled. Love played on the Packers’ practice squad all year, never making the active roster, and certainly never got any playing time in a game. Tomorrow night, he will start the Packers’ first preseason game against the Houston Texans. As we get ready to watch the future of the franchise take his first snaps, here are three things we are hoping to see.
That Fancy Footwork We’ve Been Hearing So Much About
Ever since OTA’s in May, coaches, players, and analysts who have watched Jordan Love have raved about how much his footwork has improved. It is something Love says he has been working on with Aaron Rodgers:
Where is Jordan Love better in Year 2?
Love: "My footwork…trying to tie my feet into each passing play. Reading with my feet…it's gotten a lot better."
"Understanding the game pre-snap, one thing I'm trying to improve on."
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) August 5, 2021
Last offseason, there were many claims that Jordan Love had a few years of development left to complete before he was ready to take over the starting job. That certainly seemed true when the Packers made Tim Boyle the backup quarterback last season.
Nonetheless, Love worked during the season in practice, as well as all offseason, to improve this aspect of his game. Getting his feet right will go a long way to prepare him for the starting job when it comes available.
The Arm Strength and Accuracy
There is no doubt that Jordan Love has a good arm. There is a reason he was a first round pick. However, the question has been whether or not he is accurate enough. In his final season at Utah State, Love threw 17 interceptions and had a 61.9% completion percentage. The season before, he had 32 touchdowns and just six interceptions while completing 64% of his passes.
This training camp has been much of the same in that Love has made some great throws, and other times he has not looked very good. On Family Night, though, he made one pass that had people talking for days afterwards:
Pretty good ball from Jordan Love pic.twitter.com/xX9BlXSTnh
— Justis Mosqueda (NFL Owner) (@JuMosq) August 8, 2021
Unfortunately, Begelton dropped the pass, but Love put the ball right where it needed to be. Only Begeltron could have made the play. Additionally, Love has been making difficult sideline passes look easy during camp:
These boundary passes are SO difficult and Jordan Love made it look easy right here.
Perfect throw and tremendous catch by Devin Funchess. pic.twitter.com/pvFQWWk8vQ
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) August 8, 2021
Using a Hard Count
Everyone knows of the famous Aaron Rodgers hard count, which leads to the defense jumping offsides, which leads to a free play. For some reason, PFF tweeted out that Jordan Love did not know what a hard count was until he got to the NFL. That tweet has since been deleted because of evidence such as this:
Another Jordan Love free play. Give the WR a ton of credit on this one as well, but Love was actually able to get the defense to jump offsides two plays in a row, the first one they blew dead, this one he took advantage of. pic.twitter.com/rusicj0Ih6
— Andy Herman (@AndyHermanNFL) June 17, 2020
This is also a skill he has been working on in practice:
Jordan Love almost got the defense to jump with the hard count. Ends up completing one to Sternberger in the right flat. Nice use of cadence from the young QB.
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) July 31, 2021
Packers’ fans must remember that this is the first game that Jordan Love has played in over a year. He will mistakes. He is still learning. Aaron Rodgers was once in the same position. This is not to say that Love is the next Rodgers, but quarterback development takes years, not days. Aaron Rodgers is the starter for 2021, Love is his backup. For now, that is all that matters. However, it sure will be nice to finally see Love play.
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