Matt LaFleur states the obvious to Jordan Love: Always prepare as if you’re the starter

USA TODAY Sports

Some of the headlines floating around on this point create the impression, subtly or not and intentionally or otherwise, that Packers coach Matt LaFleur has implied to quarterback Jordan Love that Love will be the Week One starter.

That’s not what LaFleur said, and it’s clearly not what he meant. LaFleur’s message to Love was the same message that any NFL head coach would (or at least should) send to a backup quarterback.

“It’s the same message it’s been all the time, is you’re only one play away, so you always have to prepare like you’re the starter,” LaFleur told reporters regarding his message to Love. “And just to be very intentional about the work that you put in. To go out there with a purpose. To be mindful and in the moment.”

That’s absolutely right. Even if/when Aaron Rodgers shows up (and it won’t be a surprise if he does), Love remains the primary backup. If Rodgers gets injured (a broken collarbone caused him to miss seven games in 2013 and nine games four years later), Love will be the guy.

This comment from LaFleur to Love means nothing as it relates to whether Rodgers will show up. Indeed, there’s a chance that Rodgers already has told LaFleur what Rodgers plans to do. LaFleur deserves to know, so that he can plan accordingly.

Rodgers has made it clear that he has no beef with LaFleur. It would be wrong for Rodgers to leave LaFleur hanging. Whatever Rodgers plans to do, chances are LaFleur knows.

LaFleur has won 26 of 32 regular-season games with Rodgers as the quarterback. LaFleur surely wants Rodgers to return. LaFleur didn’t draft Jordan Love, and LaFleur isn’t part of the problem. He’s caught in the crossfire, and it would be foolish to think that LaFleur and Rodgers don’t have the kind of relationship that permits LaFleur to ask the question and Rodgers to provide the answer.

Indeed, LaFleur at one point came dangerously close to potentially tipping his hand when asked about the presence of four quarterbacks in the offseason (and five on the roster) when Love had gotten the vast majority of the reps in 11-on-11 drills. LaFleur explained that it’s important to have four quarterbacks given the number of individual drills, with NFL receivers and running backs needing NFL receivers to throw them the ball.

“As we get closer to training camp and, you know, things could become a little bit more clear for us, you know, we could potentially make an adjustment there,” LaFleur said.

In other words, Blake Bortles and/or Jake Dolegala will be gone if/when “things become a little bit more clear” for the Packers as they “get closer to training camp.” The only clarity that would reduce the need for the other arms would be news that Rodgers plans to show up. Without reading too much into what LaFleur said (but what the hell, I will anyway), it sounds like he expects the kind of clarity that will allow the team to trim the number of roster spots devoted to quarterbacks from five to four or three, because LaFleur suspects that QB1 will be coming back.

26 responses to “Matt LaFleur states the obvious to Jordan Love: Always prepare as if you’re the starter

  1. Well, Rodgers did renew his membership at the Green Bay Country Club for the rest of the year. Did this within the last couple days, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

    Yes, Jordan needs to be 100% ready to be the starter whether Aaron is there or not. J-Love and the coaching staff are attacking it as such.

    Gute drafted Jordan because he feels he can be a elite QB in this league. He also drafted him to make sure there is a strong backup behind Aaron. All those trying to slam Gute for drafting J-Love would be the first ones saying:”Why isn’t there a good backup on the roster?” if Aaron got hurt.

    OneTeamOneNation

    PackerNation!

  2. I believe it too. He’d be nuts not to come back. This is the team he deserves! Finally!

  3. freefromcommonsense says

    Well, Rodgers did renew his membership at the Green Bay Country Club for the rest of the year. Did this within the last couple days, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
    ###

    He only did that so he can announce his retirement from the country club…

  4. Love will be given a helluva team on a silver platter if Rodgers explores other options. It won’t change my plan of cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

  5. I remember those games when Rodgers went down. Heard a lot from some people about how GB was foolish and should have drafted and developed a good QB to take over in such an event. Probably the same people who said during the past year that GB shouldn’t have taken a good QB who would be a backup.

  6. Matt LaFleur states the obvious to Jordan Love: Always prepare as if you’re the starter……what if he’s the alternator, or serpentine belt?

  7. freefromwhatyouare says:
    June 19, 2021 at 8:59 am
    Well, Rodgers did renew his membership at the Green Bay Country Club for the rest of the year. Did this within the last couple days, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

    Yes, Jordan needs to be 100% ready to be the starter whether Aaron is there or not. J-Love and the coaching staff are attacking it as such.

    Gute drafted Jordan because he feels he can be a elite QB in this league. He also drafted him to make sure there is a strong backup behind Aaron. All those trying to slam Gute for drafting J-Love would be the first ones saying:”Why isn’t there a good backup on the roster?” if Aaron got hurt.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    There were plenty of options to acquire a backup QB without alienating Rodgers in the process. If Gute believed that Love is capable of being an elite QB then he should have moved on from Rodgers . The benefit of drafting a starting QB is having them playing under their rookie deals allowing the team to take advantage by being able to spend money elsewhere . Gute did the complete opposite . He traded assets to draft a QB in the 1st round while still paying Rodgers which isn’t a problem for 1 yr ala Mahomes and Smith . The problem is having both on the roster the second year maxing out the cap forcing the Packers into losing key players in free agency along with not being able to afford adding FAs from other teams . Even if Rodgers comes back for one more year before moving on the Packers will get only 1 yr of Love on his rookie deal as a starter before having to decide if he’s worth a market value contract for a QB or have another disgruntled QB on their hands . Obviously Gute screwed this up . As difficult as it might have been he needed to decide on which QB he was committed to but instead did nothing leading to a lose – lose situation for the Packers . Based on last season thinking the smart play would have been to extend Rodgers and let it play out from there . If I had to choose between Rodgers and Love on who I would want to be happy with the situation obviously the answer is Rodgers but if Gute truly believes that Love is the future he should proved it by moving Rodgers. Based on his indecision it’s clear he doesn’t really believe that Love is the capable to be the QB to lead the Packers .

  8. cellarperformance says:

    Love will be given a helluva team on a silver platter if Rodgers explores other options.
    ###

    I seem to remember Rodgers being given a “helluva” team and netting 6 wins after being the QB in training for 3 full years.

    What makes you think that Love, without ever having suited up for an NFL game will be able to do any better?

  9. I’ll cheer for whoever wants to be there. I have no clue how good or bad Love might be and I don’t care, just as I didn’t care when Rodgers took over for Favre. Most young quarterbacks are drafted by bottom-dwelling teams and fail because they are forced to carry too many heavy expectations. That’s not the case here. Love will be getting a team that has been to the NFCCG two years in a row and has not changed much, except for the better. I’d prefer Love sit for one more year, but…….whatever. It doesn’t matter. Go Pack Go!

  10. shurmanblog says:
    June 19, 2021 at 10:59 am

    There were plenty of options to acquire a backup QB without alienating Rodgers in the process. If Gute believed that Love is capable of being an elite QB then he should have moved on from Rodgers . The benefit of drafting a starting QB is having them playing under their rookie deals allowing the team to take advantage by being able to spend money elsewhere
    **********
    Yes, there is a line of thinking where this makes perfect sense and I’ve also heard comments from Florio and Co. where the Packers should just go ahead and start Jordan Love if he’s going to be your future QB anyway.

    The reason this doesn’t make sense to me is the fact that Love from pre-draft on has been considered a developmental QB.
    Everybody from scouts to coaches have been basically in agreement that despite having a phenomenal arm and a terrific upside, his footwork and throwing mechanics needed work.

    It was the same for Aaron Rodgers.
    Without the opportunity to sit and work on his game there’s really no way of knowing if he would’ve achieved the same overall success
    Some QBs come into the league more pro-ready, others need the extra work.
    Throwing him in there to play too soon makes it all the more likely he’ll fall back on bad habits to get through games and possibly never reaching his full potential.
    Again, this is just another school of thought.

    The Packers have been in constant contact with Love’s personal QB coach and they’ve been working diligently over the last year.
    And there’s simply no substitution for the live team reps he’s taken, as well as the ramped up drills that come with an NFL training camp.
    There’s still a lot of work that lies ahead.

  11. We’ve seen many players perform way worse in a non Aaron Rodgers ran offense.

    What makes people think these guys will be the same without Rodgers at QB?

    And the defense is built to compliment a high scoring offense. They have proven to be one of the worst at defending the run over the past few years.

    This is a completely different team without Rodgers.

  12. “Rodgers has made it clear that he has no beef with LaFleur. It would be wrong for Rodgers to leave LaFleur hanging. Whatever Rodgers plans to do, chances are LaFleur knows.”
    —————–
    That’s a horrible take. Rodgers may have no beef with LaFleur but if he told LaFleur what he plans to do then that’s essentially telling management which would eliminate the only leverage he has(whether the leverage is imagined or not makes no difference) which is uncertainty.

  13. Team MVPs and management each are sides of an important relationship, and they both should communicate their needs. Going silent to increase leverage often blows up in that side’s face [and it could be either side or more likely BOTH of them]. Not a Packer fan, but psychodrama, if that is what is going on, is such a waste for all involved. Both sides, give up your haughty pretenses and talk through your issues already, even if that means a trade.

  14. IF, at this stage of his career, he has to be reminded of that then GB definitely, beyond a doubt, have drafted the wrong guy and have a big problem on their hands.

  15. As I’ve said all along — those who say do not know — and those who know do not say.

    Lafleur may, indeed, know.

  16. You don’t trade up to draft a QB in the first round unless you’re planning on him being the starter. Maybe not the first year, but definitely the second. We’re not talking about taking a backup in the 3rd or 4th round. They actually traded up in the first round. That means they gave more resources away to jump up because they saw someone they desperately needed to draft. They did all this while they were only a player or two away from being a super bowl champion caliber team, so they were completely ready to move on from Rodgers. Then Rodgers won the league MVP and the Packers are scrambling to save face, and at the same time they must not be too impressed with the progress Jordan Love has made. If they were happy with Love, they’d certainly take the two or more first round picks they could get for Rodgers, and show everyone how awesome their organization really is. They’d show us that it’s just not about Rodgers, but that it’s more about the genius front office that’s smarter than everyone else. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m watching. You see, the NFL is a bit of a copycat league. It was only months from Patrick Mahomes’ super bowl win, and Love looked a lot like Mahomes (physically). You could make a highlight tape of all the plays, and all the throws that made Love look almost exactly like Mahomes. But since all that happened, New England kind of got into it with their superstar QB, and they were going to show us about their awesome front office by letting Tommy go to a different team and stumble. But then Tommy takes a team that hadn’t won a playoff game in 18 years, and wins the super bowl. Could you imagine the backlash if Rodgers left and did the same thing? Apparently, Mark Murphy isn’t interested in having that experience, so he’s in a bit of a pickle. So he’s trying to make everyone think that he just gave away the picks that could have brought them a super bowl with Rodgers, and that the plan all along was to keep Rodgers. And I guess he’s doing all this with a straight face. Certainly the Wisconsin people are too smart for that bunch of bull, right? The poor coach is just stuck in the middle of all this. Mark Murphy would have to be the one with enough clout to boot Aaron Rodgers out of town. Without a true owner, he might get away with it. Can’t fault him for trying, but he’s being a bit ‘clever’ about it.

  17. Rodgers has made it clear that he has no beef with LaFleur. It would be wrong for Rodgers to leave LaFleur hanging. Whatever Rodgers plans to do, chances are LaFleur knows.
    ___
    Rodgers cares only about Rodgers. And a 4th quarter field goal also says Rodgers does not care about how any of this affects lafleur

  18. It would satisfy gute’s and murphy’s plan if Rodgers played in green bay 1 more year. Does Rodgers seem like the type that be ok with that plan being satisfied?

  19. Season 1: always prepare as if you’re the starter. Doesn’t dress for a single game.

  20. The Bears, Eagles, Broncos and Jets are always looking for QB’s by mid-season each year.

  21. These takes are horrible. The Packers knew when they drafted Love that he would sit for at least 2 years. This has nothing to do with Loves development and everything to do with Rodgers being (still) a top tier QB and getting paid like it. They cant cut him without significant penalties (not to mention giving him freedom to join any team) and they cant trade him without the same financial penalties. The only person who maybe didnt know that this was a 2 year plan was Rodgers and hes not an idiot… hes just selfish. So im pretty sure he knew that hes not getting out this year. regardless of what he does.

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