There’s been a lot said in the last few months about the Green Bay Packers moving on to having Jordan Love as their starting Quarterback. One of the strangest comments, to me, is that they don’t have confidence in him. That they don’t trust him. How could this really be a question after they traded their legendary quarterback away, to put Jordan Love on the field?
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in him” were the words of Matt LaFleur when asked about Love taking over for Aaron Rodgers, “just watching him last year, I think Jordan’s made some huge strides.” Love said himself that he’s worked hard to improve his footwork, rhythm, and his ability to get the ball off on-time.
It appears that paid off as last year when taking over for Aaron Rodgers vs the Philadelphia Eagles, many stated the Love looked more confident. Many called the Cowboys game in 2007 that Aaron Rodgers took over for Brett Favre, his “coming out party.” It was this game that gave the Packers the confidence to move on. The Eagles game seemed to be Jordan Love’s “coming out party.” He looked more comfortable than seen before, his decision-making had improved, and that meant, like his predecessor before him, it was time for him to get his chance.
Of course, the main voices are going to push sticking to their decision that Love is ready, but what about Love’s peers?
The Locker Room’s Confidence
One thing has very much changed between the Packers new starting Quarterback and the rest of the locker room. The age gap. The current average age in the Packers locker room is between 24 and 25 years old. Jordan Love is 24, will be 25 in November, putting him right at that average locker room age. The previous signal caller as we know, is currently 39. 15 years older than the locker room average.
To some players, this makes Jordan Love a lot more relatable, more approachable. It’s hard enough to approach your team’s starting Quarterback no matter who it is, but when you can relate to them, it makes it that much easier.
In Wednesday’s press conference, Aaron Jones said “We all love Jordan here. He has everybody’s full respect, and we’re going to go lay it out on the line for him.” One thing Jones said has earned Love a lot of respect, is that he has never had the opportunity to show what he can do in three years. He’s had to sit and wait for his chance. But you never heard one peep or complaint out of him. Jones also stated an admiration for Love’s ability to move on to the next play if things don’t go well.
Jones had a specific example of a moment his confidence in Jordan Love rose. When Love took over for Aaron Rodgers vs the Eagles, there was a specific play where Love threw a back-shoulder pass to Jones himself, and Jones dropped it. It was an excellent throw, a dime, and Jones said he should’ve caught it. But instead of being frustrated or showing disappointment, Love connected with Allen Lazard on a 17-yard completion the very next play. This type of ability to shake off the mistakes, will go a long way.
I can’t help myself but acknowledge the famous Aaron Rodgers eyerolls after mistakes like this in the past few seasons. It looks like the Packers playmakers will now be receiving a more “shake it off and let’s move on” approach.
Being the starting QB comes with a lot of responsibilities, one of which, is leadership. Love has never been called on for this duty in a Packers uniform, but now he could be made first in command.
When asked about this on Wednesday, Jordan Love said that his focus was to try to bring guys along. He wants to give everybody confidence in themselves and the confidence that he believes in them and trusts them.
With a very young group of receivers and tight ends that he’ll be throwing to come September, this could be the perfect way to grow together. Love has an opportunity to have the same group of receivers and tight ends for possibly the next 3-4 years of his career. Building good chemistry, mutual confidence, and respect between them, will lead them to greatness.
“They have to say that”
I’ve heard it over and over. Whenever someone from the Packers says something positive about Jordan Love, many nay-sayers will respond that they must. They have no choice. But you need to listen to the way they talk about him. Does it sound generic? If there are simple comments like “Oh yeah we have confidence in him, he’ll do well” or “We think he’ll be a good Quarterback” then maybe you can question the legitimacy of the comments.
This hasn’t been the case for Jordan Love. Aaron Jones as exampled earlier, has absolutely glowed about Jordan Love. He truly believes that they will be a good team with Love at the helm. There have been many good examples given as well by other players and coaches as to why he could succeed.
They truly have the confidence in him that they say they do. I, for one, couldn’t be more excited to get started with the Love era given this found confidence in him. Hopefully we will get off to a great start in 2023 and make our way toward having a third straight Hall of Fame Quarterback.
Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.