Woohoo! We have finally made it! The Green Bay Packers rookies reported to Training Camp on Friday, which means football season is on the cusp. The rest of the team reports this upcoming Tuesday with the first official practice happening on Wednesday, July 27th. It feels so good to be back baby.
With the arrival of training camp, there will be many position battles to keep an eye on. If you’re interested in reading more on that, Zach Kruse from PackersWire breaks it down here. However for today, I want to talk about the unintentional lightning rod of the Packers, Jordan Love.
Heading into his 3rd professional season, Love has played in 4 games as a pro. Three of those games were meaningless. His career stat line, in two full seasons, is 36-62 (58.1%), 411 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 3 Interceptions. He has 12 rushing attempts for 27 yards and 3 fumbles. Nobody actually knows if the former 1st round pick can be a good NFL Quarterback because he hasn’t had the opportunity to play.
Unless an injury occurs, Love will still remain on the sidelines for the upcoming season, behind 18-year Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. While there are no sure-bets with Rodgers on a year to year basis, he did sign a 3 year contract this off-season that keeps him in Green Bay through the 2024 season. So that begs the question, what the hell are the Packers doing with Jordan Love?
It got me thinking that the Packers could possibly roll out a Jordan Love package in 2022. Unlikely? Sure. Possible? Yup. The coaches and coordinators look at everything under the sun going into a new season and I’d be surprised if this topic wasn’t discussed. With the departure of Davante Adams and a little more uncertainty on that side of the ball, maybe there comes a time where extra creativity, or the element of surprise is needed?
In order for this idea to have any legs at all, we first need to find out if Jordan Love can run. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.74 40 yard dash, which was 7th best among attending quarterbacks. For context, Aaron Rodgers ran a 4.71 (in 2005), Josh Allen a 4.76 and Patrick Mahomes a 4.80. So, we know that Jordan Love definitely isn’t “slow” but he’s also not a world beater. We can comfortably say he has above-average speed for the position he plays.
In college, at Utah State University, Love played 3 years, from 2017-2019. The chart below illustrates his rushing statistics during that time.
|Season||Rushing Attempts||Rushing Yards||Average Yards Per Rush||Touchdowns|
The numbers suggest that Love didn’t run the ball often and was ineffective when he did. At 6’4 and 225 pounds, it’s fair to have expected Love to carry the ball a little more in school but Utah State’s high tempo, spread-option offense simply didn’t ask for it.
A quarterback with similar height and weight, listed at 6’3 and 225 is Justin Fields, the Chicago Bears starting quarterback. Last year in the season opener, when Fields was still behind then-starter Andy Dalton, the Bears brought Fields in the game and he did this.
The main difference between Fields and Love, from a running standpoint, is that Fields is faster (4.44 40 yard dash) and has a stronger, more compact body. It wasn’t uncommon for Fields to take on defenders in college and deliver/absorb body blows. While Utah State aimed to protect Jordan Love from contact, Ohio State used Fields as a weapon.
The 49ers used their young, backup QB in 2021, Trey Lance, against the Packers in a similar fashion during their Week 3 matchup last year.
While it’s possible we could see the Packers run something similar in the gold-zone in 2022, it’s hard to support the argument when Aaron Rodgers is the best red-zone Quarterback in NFL History. Taking the ball out of his hands at any point, let alone a time where protecting the football is most crucial, is borderline insane.
The image above reflects Jordan Love’s Relative Athletic Score during the 2020 NFL Combine. As you can see, his total score of 8.46 puts him in the “Elite” category. With this knowledge in mind, it’s possible the Packers could try to get Love on the field in situations other than the goal line, for potential trick plays. The plays below could be a method the Packers try to utilize with Love.
So, will we see a Jordan Love Package for 2022?
Based on everything we know to this point, we probably won’t see a package for Jordan Love. It’s hard to argue “yes” when looking at his underwhelming rushing college statistics coupled with the fact that Aaron Rodgers remains the Packers Quarterback. I do believe we’ll see Love on the field a time or two during the season for potential trick plays in an effort to spark the offense but that’s nothing more than a guess. Time will tell if the Packers choose to incorporate Love into the 2022 offense.
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a diehard Packers fan. Alex\’s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.
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