Packers happy with Jordan Love's development as he enters second NFL season

If you take a step back and think about it for a moment, we haven't heard all that much about Jordan Love since his draft selection sowed seeds of doubt between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Love spent most of 2020 as QB3, an obvious developmental project entrenched behind a future Hall of Famer on his way to an MVP season. That's still the case -- or at least it was until Rodgers' discontent with the Packers organization became public knowledge.

Rodgers isn't at the team's OTAs, which are voluntary, and neither were the Packers' top five receivers this week. These absences meant the stage was set -- albeit in shorts and helmets -- for Love to display what he's been working on in relative anonymity since he was selected more than a year ago.

One star Packer who was in attendance liked what he saw from Love.

"You can tell he's just a lot more comfortable out there, even from communicating in the huddle to the command of the huddle to just everything," running back Aaron Jones said Tuesday, via ESPN. "He's had a year under his belt, he's had time to watch and learn, so you can tell it's a little bit different from what it was before. He's going to continue to grow, and I'm happy to be here working with him."

From Jones' perspective, it's nice to have a young quarterback who isn't simply a camp arm or another signal-caller who's destined for nothing more than backup reps behind Rodgers. He also is more likely to end up sharing starting reps with Love at some point after signing a four-year, $48 million deal with the Packers earlier this offseason. Any signs of progress are encouraging for a player whose future is tied to the Packers.

For coach Matt LaFleur, commenting publicly on the quarterback situation might seem more like a minefield than one ripe for harvesting. He handled it as best he could during the week, though, providing positive reviews while also acknowledging Love still has plenty of work to accomplish.

"He's definitely matured over the course of the year," LaFleur said. "You can tell that he's put in the time this offseason, not only just lifting and running and coming in in good football shape, but also you can tell he's put in the time in his craft in trying to continue to work on his mechanics, his fundamentals that are so critical to playing the position at the highest level possible.

"So he's still got a lot to learn. I think he can tell you that, but he's going to take it one day at a time. He goes out there with purpose. I like his mindset right now."

Love is working toward one day becoming the Packers starter, and unless the Rodgers situation devolves further into divorce, that time isn't immediately around the corner. But considering the fact we've learned little about Love's progress before this week, it's at least encouraging to hear he's making some improvements.

Eventually, those will have to produce quality quarterback play. The Packers just hope it isn't needed this fall.

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