The Green Bay Packers have thus far tempered expectations whenever asked about Jordan Love’s outlook as an NFL starting quarterback in 2021, but Love himself seems to have no doubts about his ability to step in — should it come to that.
Love, who spoke with Packers media for the first time this offseason on Wednesday, was asked point-blank whether he believes he will be ready to take over as Green Bay’s starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2021 season in the event that reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers commits to his holdout and does not return to the team.
For Packers fans who like confidence, his answer was pretty satisfying.
“A hundred percent,” Love said. “Obviously, this is a time where I’m getting a lot of extremely valuable reps that I might not have been getting in a normal circumstance. I’m going to take it day by day, but yeah, that’s what I’m here for. I was drafted to play quarterback, and I’ll definitely be ready Week 1.”
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Strong Day 2 for Love at Minicamp
After struggling a bit with accuracy on his first day of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, Love made the most of his opportunity on Day 2 and impressed reporters during the team’s competitive 11-on-11 portion of practice. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky detailed one particularly strong sequence in which the second-year Packers quarterback completed four deep-ball passes for 30 yards or more.
“Yeah, I definitely feel it was a good day for me and everybody else as well, just bouncing back from yesterday’s practice on offense. It wasn’t our best practice all around, for me as well. Being able to come out here and bounce back today, it meant a lot for everybody,” Love said . “The goal for now is to just keep stacking good days and be better tomorrow.”
Love Wasn’t Expecting Rodgers’ No-Show
Contrary to popular belief, Love and Rodgers had a good relationship in their first season together as Packers quarterbacks despite the outside noise that attempted to conjure friction between them. Rodgers has said from the start he was “not thrilled” about the unexpected nature of Love’s selection, but he has never blamed him for the situation and worked with him daily throughout his rookie season in 2020, proving a considerably better mentor than he got out of Brett Favre.
While Love reinforced that idea on Wednesday, though, he also said Rodgers’ absence over the past few weeks came as a surprise to him despite speaking with his mentor quarterback about a week before arriving in Green Bay for voluntary OTA workouts.
“I was just as surprised as you guys,” Love said. “I did not know what was going to happen.”
Even with more reps in practice, Love hasn’t changed his personal approach to the offseason. He was working out like a starter with his longtime quarterbacks coach, Steve Calhoun, in California for months prior to officially reporting for duty last month. His task, as always, is making sure he prepares himself to the best of his abilities for the day when the Packers ask him to back up his confidence.
“My mindset this whole offseason has been to get ready,” Love said. “That’s been my mindset since I got here and, whether Aaron was here or not here, that’s going to be my mindset regardless because I have to get myself ready to play and be able to go out there and take charge of the team and be able to perform at a high level and do my best so everybody else can do their job as well.”