Jordan Love heeding Aaron Rodgers' advice to 'just be yourself'

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Jordan Love was happy to see Aaron Rodgers' name pop up on his phone Tuesday night. Rodgers had a message for Love on the eve of his first training camp practice as the Green Bay Packers' new starting quarterback.

The message, according to Love, was this: "Just be yourself. Have fun. Enjoy it."

Love tried to carry that with him during his first practice Wednesday.

"It's obviously my time now, and he just said be yourself," Love said after practice. "That's all you can do. That's kind of been the message from everybody, is be yourself. Don't try to be anybody else. Don't try to be Aaron, things like that. Just be yourself, and that's kind of what I'm trying to do."

It was not the first time since Rodgers was traded to the Jets in April that he reached out to his former backup. Shortly after the trade, according to Love, Rodgers not only wished him the best but also said he is always there for Love if he needs anything.

"Those are things we've talked about during the time we were both here together," Love said. "We kind of talked about how it was for him, obviously Brett [Favre] leaving and things like that, his transition. Obviously, he said it was hard as well. It's never easy. But he just kind of put his head down and worked. Made his own name for himself. That's kind of the same thing I'm trying to do right now for myself."

Love's first day of camp was an up-and-down showing, a mix of some quick-strike completions such as one to Samori Toure for a first down on the final play of practice and a few missed deep balls for Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Luke Musgrave that all came up short into a stiff wind. In all, he completed 7 of 15 passes in the 88-minute practice without pads.

"Deep ball, Day 1, that's something you've got to have those reps at," Love said. "It takes time. Like, it's not going to be perfect on the deep ball. After today, looking back on it, that's one thing I felt like, those couple throws I missed that were maybe a little bit short, that weren't over the shoulder like you might want. But obviously the wind accounts for that. You can never make excuses for that. You just gotta be able to play through it."

How Love and the offense progress through the early part of training camp could dictate how much -- if at all -- Packers coach Matt LaFleur decides to play Love in the preseason.

When asked whether Love will play much, LaFleur said: "Potentially. It's going to be fluid and we'll adjust accordingly."

While LaFleur said "you can't give him enough reps," he added that after spending three years as Rodgers' backup, Love "definitely has complete command of our offense, there's no doubt about it."

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst also was noncommittal about Love playing in the preseason.

"It's a little bit of that double-edged thing," Gutekunst said. "You'd like to see him play a lot if you could promise me we could protect him and keep him healthy."