Packers don't hold back any of offense because it's Jordan Love at QB1

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- One bad, one good and one somewhere in the middle.

Such were Jordan Love's three days as QB1 in the Green Bay Packers' mandatory minicamp.

That much could be seen by anyone inside the gates at Clarke Hinkle Field.

But what only those in the huddle knew was how much of coach Matt LaFleur's offense Love actually had to work with.

Did LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett run a stripped-down version of their scheme and bring only a portion of their playbook with them to practice?

“No, we installed our offense and kind of threw everything at him,” LaFleur said Thursday at the conclusion of the three-day camp.

If it looked like Love was overwhelmed on Tuesday, when he struggled with accuracy and rarely threw the ball much beyond the line of scrimmage, then Wednesday was a 180. He hit receivers in stride down the field and showed poise during a successful two-minute drill.

Thursday was a mix: He threw his first interception when first-round pick Eric Stokes jumped in front of receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on an out-breaking route and returned it for a touchdown. Love later lost a fumble on a bad exchange with running back Dexter Williams. But in a red zone period, he threw a pair of touchdown passes: a 7-yarder to receiver Juwann Winfree in the back of the end zone and a 12-yarder on a deception play to tight end Robert Tonyan.

LaFleur continued his pattern of giving Love rep after rep. Of the 31 snaps of 11-on-11 Thursday, Love took 26 of them while Blake Bortles got two and Kurt Benkert took three.

That’s far different from the usual quarterback pattern, where the starter takes the first four or five snaps of a period followed by three or four for the No. 2 and a couple for the No. 3. On Thursday, Love took the first 10 snaps, Bortles took two and Love got five more before Benkert took three. At one point on Tuesday, Love remained on the field for 16 straight plays.

“He’s a guy who hasn’t had the experience as some others,” LaFleur said. “We’ve got to get him multiple looks at many different plays and really find out what he does best and what our team does because every year things change in the National Football League.

“Just trying to get a feel for how much he can really handle, and I think he’s done a great job of being intentional about his work, how he goes out to practice every day, and I think it’s paying off for him. I think he’s made some progress.”

Here are some of the key moments from Love’s three days as QB1 while Aaron Rodgers was a minicamp holdout.

  • Best moment: Doing his best Rodgers impersonation, Love got the defense to jump, earning a free play. Love went deep and hit Allen Lazard in stride for a 45-yard touchdown between a pair of defenders. It was part of a stretch in Wednesday’s practice in which Love had three other completions of at least 30 yards.

  • Worst moment: On Tuesday during a two-minute drill, he faced a fourth-and-7 from the defense’s 46-yard line with 31 seconds left. He saw receiver Malik Taylor wide open on the sideline just past the first-down mark, but Love sailed the ball well over his outstretched arms, ending the drill.

  • Stats: Love completed 40 of 70 passes (57.1%) during the 11-on-11 competitive periods over the three days (12 of 23 on Day 1, 20 of 31 on Day 2 and 8 of 16 on Day 3). By comparison, Love attempted only 64 passes during team (11-on-11) periods in all of training camp last summer as the third quarterback, completing 37 (57.8%).

While the numbers might not look all that different, Love was far more vocal and sure of himself as a leader.

“That’s a part of my game that I’m trying to improve as well, just being able to take charge of this offense and be able to command these guys and take a leadership role,” Love said. “Last year, obviously I wasn’t in that role. That was Aaron’s voice being heard and whatnot. Now I’ve just got to be able to take that next step and take command of it and lead these guys.”

In other notes from minicamp:

  • The Packers often lined up with two rookies as part of their regular first unit on the offensive line: second-round pick Josh Myers at center and fourth-rounder Royce Newman at right tackle. Billy Turner, the regular right tackle, worked on the left side while David Bakhtiari continued to rehab from his torn left ACL.

  • The two rookie defensive backs also made noteworthy plays: Stokes had the pick-six and fifth-round cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles broke up a pass on the sideline intended for Valdes-Scantling.

  • While Davante Adams attended, he did not take any snaps during the 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 periods. Adams, who skipped the OTAs, said he will be full go by the time training camp starts.

  • Speaking of the start of training camp, no official date has been announced, but LaFleur several times referred to July 27 as the start.