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NFL: Matt Lafleur, Jordan Love, and the Green Bay Packers are looking to prove the league wrong in 2023.  Many have criticized the Packers’ decision to draft Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.  They have doubled down on their criticisms by pointing out that the team even traded up to get him that year.

That draft pick set in motion the end of Aaron Rodgers’ time in Green Bay.  Until this off-season, no one knew for sure when Rodgers would depart.  It likely would have been much earlier if he didn’t have back to back MVP campaigns after Love’s draft pick.  However, Matt LaFleur is confident in their approach at the quarterback position in Green Bay and spoke to that.

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Matt LaFleur Adamantly Defends The Draft And Develop Mantra For The Green Bay Packers (NFL)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) pictured at Packers Family Night on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Seeger Gray/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin (NFL)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) pictured at Packers Family Night on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Seeger Gray/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin (NFL)

Matt LaFleur recently spoke to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.  At one point in the conversation, he specifically defended the draft and develop mindset in Green Bay:

Whether this works, I left Green Bay learning two things: First, the Packers are convinced they did right by Love in bringing him along slowly. And, second, they’re just as sure that this was the right time to turn the page and put him on the field.

“I think—this is my opinion—the league would benefit if more guys took that approach,” LaFleur says. “What happens is, these guys, a lot of them, get thrust into situations where there’s not a lot of talent around them, and they lose confidence.

I’ve seen it happen too many times, and it’s hard to recover from that. I do think that we would be able to develop more quarterbacks if guys were given a couple of years to sit and learn the game.”

The Green Bay Packers Are Following Their Own Recipe For Success

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) passes as Aaron Rodgers looks on during training camp Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apc Packtrainingcamp 0810221015djp
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) passes as Aaron Rodgers looks on during training camp Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apc Packtrainingcamp 0810221015djp

Aaron Rodgers was expected to be selected early in the 2005 NFL Draft as he had posted impressive numbers as a junior with the University of California.  That year with Cal he threw for 2,320 yards with a 67.5 completion rate in the regular season. He threw for 24 touchdowns and only eight interceptions in his last college season, impressing many NFL scouts.

Those scouts commented that he was a “talented strong-armed junior” who “combines arm strength, mechanics and delivery to make all the throws”, but noted that his stats could be inflated due to playing in a quarterback-friendly system and that he would need to adjust to the more elaborate defensive schemes of the NFL.

Rodgers would spend the next three years sitting behind first ballot Hall of Famer Brett Favre.  The decision turned out to be one of the best in franchise history as Rodgers would go on to be one of the greatest Packers to ever don the uniform.  The Packers are hoping the same recipe continues with Jordan Love.

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