Despite inklings of uncertainty about Aaron Rodgers' future in Green Bay, as well as reports of the longtime quarterback's apparent discontent with the organization, both Rodgers and the Packers have since downplayed tensions. General manager Brian Gutekunst has been especially emphatic in his support for Rodgers, calling the 37-year-old "our leader" for "years to come." The longer Green Bay commits to the future Hall of Famer under center, however, the more it's fair to wonder: What about Jordan Love?
A year after trading up to draft the Utah State quarterback 26th overall, the Packers are now suggesting their heir apparent will "sit for a long time" as Rodgers remains in town. No one would reasonably argue that Green Bay should replace Rodgers, who at 37 turned in one of the finest performances of his career en route to likely MVP honors. But it stands to reason that Love, who will be 26 by the end of his rookie Packers contract, might prefer a quicker route to playing time.
On Tuesday, speaking to CBS Sports while working with Panini America to finish signing his 2020 rookie trading cards, Love deferred his position to Packers management, indicating his eyes are only on continuing to grow behind Rodgers.
"The situation I'm in, they brought me in to learn as much as I can, and that's really all I can do," he said. "I don't make those calls; they do. Obviously, (like) anybody, you wanna be out there competing. The way I look at it, if I'm not ready to be out there, then I have to keep working. I mean, I definitely grew a lot during the season. It's a lot when you first get there, your head's kinda spinning, but once you get your feet into it and get through the season, your confidence gains."
Love looks fondly upon his first season, even if he didn't take a single snap as Green Bay's No. 3 QB. He flaunted Panini cards of himself to friends and family. ("It's not something you can say every day," he said. "It's like, it's me!") Behind the scenes, he soaked up Rodgers' preparation habits, "just learning the routine, the weekly day-to-day that you've gotta do to get yourself ready."
"Seeing Aaron and how he handles himself in practice," Love explained, "being in a quarterback room, you kinda know how it goes, but he's a really smart dude. For him, obviously, it's a little different, because I'm over here learning the playbook still, and he knows it."
Love would not speculate about either his or Rodgers' future as the Packers' QB but promised to "make sure I'm ready when my name is called." Even if it's not, he said he believes in coach Matt LaFleur and the rest of the roster to get over the NFC Championship hump moving forward.
"We're super close," he said. "As you see, that was our goal this year. But I'm super confident. Coach LaFleur is an awesome coach, and he handles his business."