The Green Bay Packers will take the field this week for mandatory minicamp. The biggest story surrounding the team remains the performance of new starting quarterback Jordan Love. Head coach Matt LaFleur is emphasizing the process of improving Love rather than the immediate results.
Love has had both positive and negative moments during voluntary OTAs. He had a shaky start in week 1 but played better in the second and third weeks of OTAs.
Matt LaFleur Emphasizing the Process
LaFleur knows the team’s success likely depends to a large degree on how well Love performs after taking over for Aaron Rodgers. With only one NFL start under his belt, this will be a big jump for the fourth-year man out of Utah State.
Thus far, LaFleur has emphasized the process of teaching Love rather than his specific performance in any given practice or minicamp.
“It’s about being accurate, throwing on time, making the right decisions, putting the ball in the right spot, so I’ve been encouraged, especially over the course of this last week,” LaFleur said during the final week of voluntary OTAs.
“One of the things we’ve talked about in that room is just how important it’s really the process of playing quarterback is really,” LaFleur continued. “I’m less concerned about the end result right now, but I do believe that if the process is correct, he is going to be more consistent.”
In other words, if Love does things the right way consistently, the numbers the team wants and the performance the team wants will follow.
It also shows that the Packers head coach acknowledges that the growth and development of his new starting quarterback will be a process. Love will have moments of struggle, like he had in front of the media during the first week or OTAs. He will also have moments where his skill and potential shine through and he makes big plays.
Jordan Love Is Confident
Love also understands what he needs to concentrate on throughout OTAs and mandatory minicamp. “I think what I wanted to accomplish was playing with a base, playing on time, and progressions, pocket movement, being able to stay balanced, keep my base the whole time. That’s been the biggest thing,” Love explained.
“I know I can, if a play breaks down, I know I can make off-schedule plays and things like that. My biggest thing has been trying to play with a base, stay in the pocket, be able to go through my reads and be on time. I think I’ve done a great job and been able to improve on that but it’s always something you’ve got to be conscious of and focus on every day.”
Things will get tougher for Love this week at mandatory minicamp. At voluntary OTAs, neither of the Packers starting cornerbacks were present. Both veteran starters Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas were not participating. But both experienced veterans will be there this week.
No offense to Carrington Valentine, Shemar Jean-Charles, and Corey Ballentine, but having the starters in practice will take things to a different level.
Alexander enjoys challenging young receivers. He and Douglas will test Love and the Packers young receiving corps that as of now does not feature any players with more than one year of NFL experience. Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure are now the most experienced receivers on the team.
Christian Watson Looks Forward to Year Two
Watson is looking forward to the challenge he’ll face in his second season in the league. “I think the biggest thing is consistency,” he said at Week 2 of OTAs. “Just to be able to get out there and get those reps. To get that consistency of just doing it over and over and over again.”
Watson also feels that the Packers will be just fine with Love at the helm. “It’s easy to say they lost Aaron [so] it’s going to be a down year. I feel like that’s the easy route to take. I think that we’ve connected as a team through these couple of weeks that we’ve been going through right now and I think we’re on the incline right now. We’re going to continue to build on that stuff. We have the ability to make plays and play well so that’s the mentality we have with the guys we’ve got.”
The Packers are working towards the start of a new era in September. Each step they take, through voluntary OTAs, mandatory minicamp, training camp and then preseason games, gets a little more difficult and a little more intense until the season starts. The process is under way. If Love and the Packers young players continue to do things the right way, they are confident the results will come.
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