OTA’s have begun. And with them, the over-analysis of Jordans Love is officially underway.
It was admittedly a rough start for Green Bay’s new front man by all accounts. Per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com:
“Late into Tuesday’s OTA session, Love had completed just 3 of 12 passes during 11-on-11 periods. He finished 6 of 16 with three touchdowns — all of them in the final red zone period. It didn’t help that the starting left side of the offensive line (David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins) was absent, but Love had three passes tipped or batted down, one dropped, and one nearly picked off by linebacker De’Vondre Campbell over the middle.”
Meanwhile over on the TV version of ESPN, the normally fantastic and level headed Dan Orlovsky was busy setting ridiculous expectations for Love’s first year as a starter. While naming his top five NFC quarterbacks under the most pressure, Orlovsky not only named Jordan Love number one but also said:
“You were a first-round pick who got a contract extension without ever playing. They ran a Hall of Fame quarterback out of town for you. You’ve got to go prove that you are the right guy.
You’ve got two really good young receivers, a rookie draft pick in Jayden Reed, two young rookie tight ends, a very healthy roster, and again a conference and division that’s not loaded. The expectation shouldn’t be that Jordan Love’s OK, the expectation should be that Jordan Love doesn’t skip a beat to what the Packers have been.”This is a team that still has been to the NFC title game two of the last three years. He should play tremendous football.”
Orlovsky is missing a simple point that LaFleur continues to try to hammer home. This is not just an inexperienced quarterback. It’s a bunch of inexperienced players. Sure they sound talented, especially when Orlovsky shouts about them like he did, but they are rookies and second year players. When Lafleur speaks about patience for Love, part of the reason he is doing that is because of the patience needed for the guys around him. It’s the same reason Aaron Rodgers spent so much time last year talking about the mistakes young guys make. There’s just a different set of expectations for aa young core. Their performances can dictate a quarterback’s performance as much as vice versa.
Per Bill Huber of SI Lafleur hammered this home again after Love’s performance. “Certainly, I think, and I know I’ve said it before in terms of just, we’ve got to see what everybody else around him can do, as well,” LaFleur said. “And we’ve got some youth, so it’s going to be a work in progress, no doubt about it, throughout the course of OTA’s and training camp and quite frankly throughout the course of the season.”
But of course it was a different Lafleur quote that set the hot take world on fire. “A lot of good things and a lot to clean up,” LaFleur said, via Demovsky
Before you knew it every blue check mark had a take, and every site had a headline like “Matt Lafleur’s Harsh Assessment of Jordan Love’s Performance.”
I know what we’re all thinking. “RELAX. These are just OTAs! Let the kid be! All of this excessive coverage and noise will undoubtedly grow old very quickly for Packers fans. But to hope national interest in the Love storyline would lessen is a fool’s errand.
Rodgers and Love are one of the biggest NFL talkers the league has had in years. The media can’t go wrong. If both of them are great, great. If both of them are terrible, it’s still interesting. If one of them is great and the other one sucks, media bonanza. They can and will happily cover every second of whatever transpires.
Green Bay knows this better than anyone. They felt it as Favre left and then eventually found his way to the Vikings while Rodgers tried to establish himself. And that was back before the modern social media age. It’s time to buckle up fellow Cheeseheads, because you are about to get a nonstop stream of every single thing Jordan Love thinks, does, and says. And if you don’t want it, it’s probably best if you throw your phone in the Fox River.