Whenever the Aaron Rodgers era officially comes to an end, 24-year-old Jordan Love is set to handle the starting quarterback duties in Green Bay.
But, when Love is formally named the Packers starter, his head coach Matt LaFleur doesn’t expect the former first-round draft pick to be Rodgers 2.0.
“Certainly, I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think he’s going to go out there and perform at a level to the likes of an Aaron Rodgers,” LaFleur said at the NFL’s annual meeting. “This guy is a once-in-a-lifetime generational talent, and I don’t think it necessarily started that way when he first started. But he progressed into that.”
LaFleur went on to describe the transition from Rodgers to Love as “a progression.”
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is tasked with finalizing the Rodgers’ trade to the New York Jets. Earlier this month, the four-time Super Bowl winner announced his intentions to play for the Jets.
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But, LaFleur seems to already be focused on doing what he can to prepare Love for the starter role.
“It’s going to be a different role for him, certainly, and I think we all have to temper our expectations for him,” LaFleur said.
“It’s different when you’re going into a game vs. when you’re starting 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 truly do it on their own in this league. It’s going to be everybody rallying around him and trying to play at their best ability so that he can go out there and perform as good as he possibly can.”
Love’s lone career NFL start came in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021. But, he has had significant playing time in a couple of other games over the years.
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Last season he completed six of his nine passes in the second half of a Week 12 game against the Eagles. Joint practices are something that can help Love getting ready for the regular-season, which is something LaFleur seems to be in favor of.
Gutekunst insisted earlier this offseason that Love was “absolutely” ready to become a starter. He doubled down on his previous comments this week.
“I’ve mentioned it before,” Gutekunst said, “but it’s just time for him to play.”
LaFleur was groomed under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and a quarterback change could present an opportunity for him to incorporate more of his philosophy into the offensive scheme.
“I’ve been hearing that a lot,” LaFleur jokingly said.
“The way I always view it, it’s our offense,” he added. “Obviously, you want to do whatever accentuates your players’ abilities, whether it’s the quarterback, receivers, whoever it may be.”
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