May 24, 2023, 20:31 ETGreen Bay’s new starting quarterback thinks it’s “still premature” to make judgments about his performance
GREEN BAY — At some point, everyone around the Green Bay Packers will stop saying, “It’s still premature” when it comes to questions surrounding Jordan Love’s progress as the club’s new starting quarterback.
It hasn’t gotten to that point yet, and it might not be close.RELATED
Certainly not after two offseason practices, the second of which was open to the media, last Tuesday.
Green Bay’s offensive performance under Jordan Love remains a work in progress, and will continue to be so even in the regular season. AP Photo
“I think it’s still premature now,” said Love himself. “It’s our first week training, starting live practices against the defense. It’s not perfect right now. We know it won’t be perfect.
“I think the measure for us is to keep building, make sure we’re doing the right things — at the right time on the right routes and route depth, timing, things like that — build confidence to take to the boardroom and to the field, and make sure that everyone is focused on that aspect”.
By the end of Tuesday’s session, Love had completed just 3 of 12 passes during 11-on-11 drills. He finished 6-of-16 with three touchdowns, all coming in the final red zone period. It didn’t help that the left side of the offensive line — David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins — were absent, but Love had three passes touched or deflected, one dropped, and one nearly picked off by linebacker De’Vondre Campbell up the middle of the ball. field.
Possibly his best delivery was a 10-yard TD pass to Christian Watson on the post route against tight coverage from cornerback Keisean Nixon. He followed that up with a 10-yard TD pass to Romeo Doubs on a route to the outside, and finished the session with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Samori Toure on a short end zone route.
That trio make up Love’s most experienced receivers, and they’re all just entering their second NFL season.
To help speed Love’s learning curve, Packers coach Matt LaFleur said they are practicing with fewer plays from the script, and more periods of improvisation.
“I think it’s the challenging thing, for young players, to have off-script periods, really in all phases,” LaFleur said.
And, that doesn’t just go for Love. He’s surrounded by a receiving group that doesn’t include anyone with more than a season of experience and a tight ends group that includes two rookies.
“We have to see what everyone around them can do, too,” LaFleur noted. “And, we’ve got some youth, so it’s going to be a work in progress, for sure, through OTAs, training camp, and frankly, through the season.”
In addition to Bakhtiari and Jenkins, five other players were absent from the voluntary session. Both starting cornerbacks, Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas, plus outside linebacker Preston Smith, along with backups Dallin Leavitt and Jonathan Garvin, were out of practice. Bakhtiari, Jenkins and Smith have been regulars on the offseason show. No reason was given for Tuesday’s absences.
A pair of former first-round picks, cornerback Eric Stokes and outside linebacker Rashan Gary, were among those rehabbing on their side. Stokes revealed on Tuesday that he had surgery on his right foot to repair an injury to Lisfranc, as well as surgery to clean his right knee. Both injuries occurred last November in Detroit, the same game Gary tore his right ACL.