Will 2021 be the year Jordan Love makes his NFL debut? Some are urging the Green Bay Packers to use the upcoming 17-game season to get the second-year quarterback onto the field, with a two-fold purpose.
In his latest column for Cheesehead TV, Cory Jennerjohn breaks down why the Packers need to use the newly added extra 17th game — at the very least — to give Love his first opportunity to start on a professional level.
“The Packers are going to do everything they can to protect Rodgers,” Jennerjohn wrote. “Which is why the Packers need to consider starting Jordan Love for one or two games next year.”
The latest Packers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Packers newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Packers!
Jennerjohn: Starting Love ‘Turns Conversation Away From Rodgers’
Love, who spent the bulk of his rookie season a healthy scratch from the roster, has been elevated to the role of Rodgers’ backup after Tim Boyle left this offseason. According to Jennerjohn, giving Love a shot at starting 1-2 games next season could be good for both the second-year quarterback, as well as the reigning MVP:
It makes sense for two reasons. One, it gives Rodgers a break and decreases the chance of injury. Obviously, we don’t know when injuries will happen but if there is a way to lessen the chance, then you have to do it. Secondly, it puts the onus on Love and turns the conversation away from Rodgers. Let’s say Love starts against the Lions and Bengals this season. Both teams had poor pass rushes in 2020 and these doormats would be a good introduction to the league. But it also raises another interesting question. What if Love puts forth a couple of clunkers? Does that change the long-term mindset of Love?
Love was a three-year starter for Utah State before Green Bay selected him in the first round last year. The 6-4, 217-pound quarterback started 38 games over his three seasons, completing 61.2 percent of his passes for 8,600 yards, 60 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He also rushed for 403 yards and nine scores.
Follow the Heavy on Packers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Love Will Need to See the Field Sooner or Later
The primary knock on Love coming out of college was the eyebrow-raising jump in interceptions from his breakout sophomore season in 2018 to his final year as a junior in 2019. He went from tossing 32 touchdowns and six picks in 2018 to throwing 20 scores and 17 interceptions his final year at Utah State. Whether he can adjust to the pro game remains a huge question — and there’s only one way to answer it.
“He’s very natural,” LaFleur told Stacey Dales of the NFL Network about Love last August. “There’s a lot to clean up right now. He’s a young quarterback that is learning a new system, and just how specific we are with the footwork. I think that takes time. But I am pleased at how he attacks it on a daily basis.”
The likely outcome is for the Packers to win the NFC North yet again and perhaps give Love an opportunity to start in a potentially meaningless Week 17 game. But in a league where injuries can happen at any time, Love’s progress matters on multiple levels.
“I think he’s a really intelligent kid,” LaFleur added. “And he’s very athletic. So, I think it’s a matter of time before he can pick up the mechanics. But, our challenge to him each and every day, is just you gotta get that one percent better.”
READ NEXT: Jordan Love Shows Off Progress in New Viral Video