In moving on from Rodgers, the Packers believe in their 2020 NFL Draft first-round pick and after his preseason debut as a starter against the Cincinnati Bengals Friday night, we can see way.
In all a sharp performance that the Packers should be pleased with.
Packers: Jordan Love shows efficiency and command in the pocket
With a nice compliment of young weapons around him, Love has the tools to be successful in 2023 as long as he continues the poise and command he showed in on Friday night.
"“All in all, I thought it was a good first performance,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said following the game, via CBS Sports. “I’m sure he would love to have the throw to [Luke] Musgrave back. But, I think, there’s a lot to learn from and a lot of good came out of it. I thought, just the poise he showed, the command he showed. I thought we were getting in and out of the huddle quickly. I thought it was a really good first exposure for him for this season.”"
The play in question for an errant pass from Love to Musgrave that failed to convert a third down. But, for a young quarterback those types of plays is what helps with growth. There will be more growing pains as when the regular season gets underway, but it will be how Love bounces back from those challenges that will build him as the Packers starter.
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As far as him looking like Rodgers? His efficiency was on point, but his deep ball does need work. He only had one long attempt Friday night, which was a ball along the sideline to Christian Watson. He put a little too much air under it as Watson was open so that is one element of his game he does have to work on.
Packers rookie quarterback Sean Clifford also shines
Love wasn’t the only quarterback showing some Rodgers touch on Friday night. Fifth round pick Sean Clifford had an impressive showing in his debut completing 20-of-26 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. He did have two interceptions, but it was the way he bounced back after those turnovers that impressed LaFelur.
"“I do love the fact that he had to battle through some adversity, throwing the two pick,” the Packers coach said. “And then he comes back and leads us on a 2-minute drive. To see him not fazed by those situations, it showed something.“You can’t teach that. You can talk about it all you want, but that is intrinsic. And he possesses that.”"
The Penn State product isn’t expected to challenge Love for the job, but he showed something in Friday night’s debut that should push Love in not getting complacent, especially when he zips the ball like this:
Other Packers standouts in preseason opener
The quarterbacks weren’t the only standouts on offense in the 36-19 victory over the Bengals.
Running back Emanuel Wilson broke off an 80-yard touchdown run that puts him in the conversation on the running back depth chart. Wilson finished the game with over 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns showing off his speed and vision on the field.
On defense, Carrington Valentin continued to impress with two pass breakups and an interception in the game. The seventh-round pick out of Kentucky continues to up his stock and stake his claim to a roster spot.
In all, the Packers saw a lot of promise on Friday night even if it’s just the preseason.