Packers: Aaron Rodgers reached out to Jordan Love this offseason

Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers are turning over a new leaf with young quarterback Jordan Love. Still, he’s receiving words of advice for his former mentor Aaron Rodgers.  

The Green Bay Packers‘ breakup with Aaron Rodgers was a messy, years-long affair. The seeds of divorce were firmly planted when the franchise decided to select Jordan Love with the No. 26 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, a move Rodgers clearly resented at the time.

In the years since, Rodgers has kept an amicable relationship with his unwanted protégée, even progressing the relationship to the point of genuine mentorship. Whether he likes it or not, the veteran has taught Love a lot in the Green Bay QB room. Now, Love will use what he has learned to lead the next era of Packers football.

According to Love, his relationship with Rodgers isn’t completely severed. The new Jets QB reached out to Love with words of advice ahead of training camp.

Aaron Rodgers reaches out to support former Green Bay Packers teammate Jordan Love

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Love spoke of a conversation with Rodgers the night before, during which his former mentor offered up strong advice.

"“Aaron reached out to me last night and that’s exactly what he said. He said, ‘Just be yourself, have fun, enjoy it.’ It’s obviously my time now, and he just said, you know, ‘Be yourself.’ I mean, that’s all you can do. That’s kind of been the message from everybody — be yourself. Don’t try to be anybody else. Don’t try to be Aaron. Things like that. Just be yourself and that’s kinda what I’m trying to do.” (h/t Pro Football Focus/NBC Sports)"

Rodgers isn’t exactly breaking new ground here — “just be yourself” can apply almost universally to any person in any situation — but it’s more about who is giving the advice, not the exact nature of the advice. Rodgers has experience taking the reins from a Hall of Fame quarterback in Green Bay; he famously replaced Brett Favre, who fittingly did not like Rodgers.

While Rodgers was certainly more courteous to Love than his predecessor was to him, the 38-year-old — now pilot of the New York Jets’ new-look offense — could have easily walked away and left the 24-year-old Love to figure things out on his own. That’s not what Rodgers did, however, and he deserves credit for supporting Love. It’s clear the Packers’ new leading man appreciates it.

And, ultimately, it’s simple but effective advice. Love can’t get caught up in comparisons to one of the greatest quarterback talents of all time. That’s a one-way ticket to being absolutely miserable. He has to put in the work and live with the results. He has to find success and self-fulfillment on his own terms. He can’t let others dictate it for him.

The Packers will obviously hope Love can provide half of what Rodgers did at the position. There are valid doubts about the Utah State product, but he completed 14-of-21 pass attempts last season to the tune of 13.9 yards per catch. That’s an infinitesimal sample size, but it at least confirms one simple truth: we don’t really have a feel for Love’s game at the NFL level. Not yet.

There will be plenty of speculation in the weeks to come about Love’s fitness for the role, but no firm judgement can be passed until the games start in September and Love finally gets a multiple-week trial run. If the season goes sideways, the Packers may have to reconsider their commitment to the young QB, but right now he’s the man in Green Bay — and he has big shoes to fill. But, that shouldn’t be his focus.

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