Packers: Aaron Rodgers’ Absence Good News for Jordan Love

Green Bay Packers' Jordan Love (10) participates in organized team activities Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.Cent02 7fxwis406kx192ruj71c Original
Green Bay Packers' Jordan Love (10) participates in organized team activities Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.Cent02 7fxwis406kx192ruj71c Original /

The Green Bay Packers’ three-day mandatory mini-camp is underway, and Aaron Rodgers is not in attendance. As I recently wrote, that should not come as a surprise to anyone—like at all.

We don’t quite know what the future holds for the Green Bay Packers and Rodgers, but his absence over these next three days means more QB1 reps for Jordan Love, and that, of course, is a good thing.

The former 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was inactive for every game last season, and even when it came to practice time, he was short-changed due to the unusual offseason that took place as a result of COVID-19.

Related Story. No Surprise, Aaron Rodgers Not at Mni-Camp. light

On top of that, there were no preseason games, and as the third quarterback on the roster, there weren’t exactly a lot of extra reps to go around, and the ones he did have were with the back end of the roster players.

As you can imagine, this is a very crucial few month stretch upcoming for Love when it comes to his development, and Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett stressed this back in March:

"“Even just being able to get out there and practice — I mean, that’s huge,” said Hackett via Pro Football Talk. “So I think for him, it’s just growing more in the offensive system, even more than he already has. Just making it his own. … Obviously, we’re very excited if we can be able to practice because I think that’s something he needs."

Mini-camp isn’t the first team activity that Rodgers has missed this offseason; he’s already been absent from voluntary OTAs as well. This gave Love his first opportunity to take command of the offense, and according to Hackett, he is looking much more confident in his second season:

"“One of the bigger things with Jordan right now is his confidence in the system,” Hackett told reporters via “Instead of trying to learn the verbiage and just understand how to call the plays, he can do that much easier now and then be able to go out there and execute them. That’s something we’ve been able to see, so now we can talk about the techniques and the reads and those intricate details that we want to get to him. Timing and accuracy and all those things have definitely been better up to this point“"

During the few practices that have been open to the media, much has already been made about Love relying heavily on the check-down option. At one point in the most recent open practice, Rob Demovsky of ESPN noted that Love threw to a running back on six of seven plays. But quarterback coach Luke Getsy isn’t concerned whatsoever, as he mentions, the important thing for Love right now is that he trusts his eyes and his feet:

"“The main goal for me right now is that he just progresses properly, that he plays with his eyes and his feet,” said Getsy via “If his eyes and his feet tell him to move in his progression, I want him to move in his progression. So if defense is taking something away, we need to progress. I don’t want him to think he needs to force something down the field.”"

It also needs to be mentioned that at OTAs, Love was without his top receivers as Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Devin Funchess were all absent. This also could have been a big reason why he was checking down so often. Chris Blair, DeAndre Thompkins, Malik Taylor, Bailey Gaither, and others just might not have been getting open consistently as they worked against several of the Green Bay Packers defensive starters.

If that’s the case, then isn’t it a good thing that he’s taking the check-down option? One key area that Love needed to work on coming out of Utah State was his decision-making. We also don’t know if those reps were designed for him to work through his progressions, which, as Getsy noted, is the “main goal” for Love right now. After all, this is practice, you know, where you work on parts of your game that have to improve. So I would not read much into the number of check-downs that Love is throwing.

In addition to Love taking the QB1 reps during mini-camp over these next few days, he will now also have the opportunity to work with Green Bay’s top receivers as they are all expected to be in attendance. Along with getting some much-needed practice reps, it’s also important that he tries to build some chemistry with his top receiving targets.

Remember, Love has rarely — or if at all — had the chance to work with this group. This will also provide Matt LaFleur, and the rest of the offensive coaches a better barometer of how well Love is progressing.

Next. Davante Adams Expected to be at Mini-Camp. dark

The best thing for the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl hopes in 2021 is that Aaron Rodgers is under center come Week 1. But for a team that is still a bit unsure of what they have in their former first-round pick, Rodgers’ absence provides the coaching staff an opportunity to see what Love can do with a full complement of weapons around him. And for Love, who is at a crucial point in his development, these additional starting reps are invaluable.