Sound process leads to impressive results for Packers QB Jordan Love

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Sound process leads to impressive results for Packers QB Jordan Love

As should be expected with a first-time starting quarterback, Jordan Love’s performance through offseason programs and the start of training camp has often been up and down. There has been good, and then there has been not-so-good. However, for Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, his main focus right now with Love is on the process of playing quarterback, not the results.

Before Saturday’s practice, LaFleur reiterated this point with the belief that if Love can get the process correct and do so consistently, the results will follow.

“Everything that we look at in regards to that position or really all the positions is just the process behind it,” said LaFleur. “I’m not so caught up in the end result right now. Obviously, we are in a results-oriented business, and they are absolutely critical, but I’m just a firm believer philosophically that if these guys have the right process and going through their reads the right way, throwing with the right rhythm and timing, it’s going to lead to a better result. That’s where the sole focus lies with him (Jordan Love) and, frankly, all our players.”

The process that LaFleur is referring to includes everything leading up to the ball leaving Love’s hands on a particular play. It means getting in and out of the huddle efficiently, having a good base in the pocket, and of course, sound footwork. It also means going through progressions, playing with timing and rhythm, along with being fundamentally sound from a mechanics standpoint. Put it all together, and the end result should be an accurate pass.

Saturday’s training camp practice ended up being by far the best of Love’s summer up to this point and probably the best of his career. From a numbers standpoint, he was very efficient, completing 16-of-22 passes, including 4-of-7 during an end-of-half two-minute drill where the offense put up three points.

The play of the day happened during the two-minute drill when Love connected with Samori Toure for a 33-yard gain. The offense had completed a number of out routes prior to this play, and when Toure ran an out-and-up route down the left sideline, he was able to create a foot or two of separation between him and Rasul Douglas, who had been sitting on the out route. Love then dropped the ball in perfectly to Toure. If thrown too far left, Toure may drift out of bounds. If thrown too far right, Darnell Savage, who was closing in from safety, has a chance for a pass breakup.

Those overall numbers and that excellent play were the result of a very buttoned-up performance from Love, where, in short, he was repeatedly getting the process right. He was calm in the pocket, even with chaos around him, and decisive, Love let it rip when a window came open during his progressions and knew when to take what the defense gave him and when to push the ball downfield.

“I do think in order to be an effective quarterback, you got to play decisively,” said LaFleur on Saturday. “You got to trust what you see. Trust the guys around you, that they’re going to get their job done and just play fast. And I told him, if you go out there and let it rip and you make a mistake, throw a pick, it’s a learning experience.

“There are a lot of pluses that go through the tough lessons along the way. I’d rather him stress that in these practices than go out there in a game and do something that’s foreign to him.”

Saturday was a great day on the practice field for Love, but as LaFleur often mentions when discussing young players, it’s about day-to-day consistency. Although the quarterback gets much of the attention, the other 10 players around him have to be on the same page for things to work. But if on Sundays, the Packers get the version of Love that we saw over the weekend, they’ll absolutely be able to win some games.

“I think it’s exponential,” said LaFleur when talking about the importance of decisiveness at quarterback. “It’s hard to put a value on that. And he’s going to continue to learn and grown and that’s what’s so exciting. We’ve seen the jumps that he’s made but ultimately, you’ve got to go out and do it on Sundays. And it’s not just him. I keep hitting that point, it’s got to be everybody. Show me a good quarterback, and I’ll probably show some good weapons around him.”

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