As the Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay draws to a close, the Jordan Love era begins.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur doesn’t think fans should expect Love to play like peak Rodgers out of the gate. Speaking to reporters at the NFL owners meeting, LaFleur noted that Packers fans should at least be cautious with their expectations for Love as he prepares to become a full-time starter for the first time in his career
“We’re excited about Jordan and how he’s been able to progress as a quarterback, how he’s matured as a man,” LaFleur said. “It’s going to be a different role for him, for sure, and I think we all have to temper our expectations for him. It’s different when you go into a game than when you start a game. It’s going to be a process, but it’s going to be exciting for him, for us.
“I don’t think any quarterback can do it by himself in this league. So everyone is going to rally around him and try to be at the best of his ability so he can go out there and perform as well as he possibly can.”
Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports noted that the Packers seem to know what they have with Love, and it’s not Rodgers in his MVP days.
“It doesn’t look exactly like they’ve done it [Justin] Herbert, Trevor Lawrence o [Patrick] Mahomes on their hands,” Cowherd said on Wednesday’s “The Herd.” “Two things I think the Packers are telling you with all these bytes, with all these leaks, with all these reports: It’s not Mahomes. It’s not Burrow. If it was, they wouldn’t have signed Aaron to an extension, would they? Alex Smith was a Pro Bowl player, they walked away from him as a Pro Bowl quarterback who was taking a team to the playoffs. They left him for Muhammad. He won’t be that. It’s not going to be the top, top five or top six.”
However, Cowherd mentioned the fact that the Packers are starting love and trading Rodgers and possibly eating a lot of his salary to do so doesn’t mean they think the 2020 first-round pick is a bad thing either.
“He’s probably somewhere between the 13th and 23rd best quarterback,” Cowherd said. “That’s Daniel Jones, Mac Jones and Ryan Tannehill. That tells me the Packers are in the 9-8, 8-9 bracket.”
As Cowherd pointed out, that’s the same range the Packers had last season. They finished 8-9 and the play they got out of Rodgers might have been closer to that 13-23 range Cowherd mentioned. He was 11th in passing yards (3,695) and seventh in passing touchdowns (26), but threw the seventh most interceptions (12) and was 17th in passer ratio (91.1).
Do the Packers have low expectations for Jordan Love?
Colin Cowherd explained why the Packers shouldn’t expect a major drop in 2023.
While Cowherd believes the lack of high-end, up-and-coming quarterback play in the NFC could benefit the Packers, they could also be in the most even division in the conference. Even though the Vikings won the NFC North last season, Cowherd doesn’t think Minnesota will replicate its 11-0 record in one-score games last season that helped it finish 13-4.
It’s the other teams in the NFC North that Cowherd thinks the Packers should worry about as they look to find a new identity under their new quarterback.
“Green Bay’s problem is Detroit and Chicago,” Cowherd said. “Detroit is good and Chicago should be considerably better. Remember, Aaron was 6-10 in his first year. So LaFleur’s first byte is kind of accurate. There’s a difference between games and being the guy. Their roster is good. It’s a very good roster. They need pressure on the quarterback. They were 27th in catches. They need to be more productive at receiver and tight end.”
FOX Sports Top Stories:
Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more