In his monthly post at Packers.com, Murphy said Love’s play has “been up and down” and the evaluation of him as a quarterback is the “million-dollar question” for the franchise, but confidence isn’t wavering as Love’s first season as the starter unfolds.
“As a person, Jordan is everything you would want in a player – hard worker, smart, humble, a leader who is respected by his teammates. He is also willing to take the blame when things don’t go well,” Murphy wrote. “His play has been up and down, though. Young players often take time to find consistency, but we still very much believe in Jordan and are excited to see his continued development.”
Murphy admitted the start of the 2023 season has been “disappointing,” especially after a 38-20 win in Chicago in Week 1. The Packers are 2-5 and have lost four straight games. In terms of scoring, the Packers have put up 20 or fewer points in five straight games. And Love has thrown an interception in five straight games.
Losing David Bakhtiari after just one game, the youth at wide receiver and tight end and the failures of the run game have all contributed to the chaos around Love at the quarterback position.
Murphy compared the situation of Aaron Rodgers — who took over for Brett Favre as the starter in 2008 — to what Love is dealing with now.
“In 2008, after eight games we had seen enough of Aaron Rodgers to sign him to a contract extension. Aaron was in a much different situation, though, as we had good veteran receivers in Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, a quality left tackle in Chad Clifton and a good running game with Ryan Grant,” Murphy wrote. “Jordan, meanwhile, is facing a much different situation with young receivers and tight ends, no David Bakhtiari and a struggling run game. It wouldn’t be fair to judge Jordan now since there are so many other factors that have contributed to the offense’s poor performance (e.g., dropped passes, penalties, mental errors).”
In 2008, Grant rushed for over 1,200 yards and Jennings and Driver both went over 1,000 receiving yards. In 2023, the Packers are averaging 3.8 yards per carry and every meaningful player at receiver or tight end is a first- or second-year player.
The struggles of the first seven games only amplify the importance of the final 10 games in 2023. The Packers need to smooth things out on offense so the team can get a better evaluation of Love as an individual player..
“We should have a much better sense regarding Jordan at the end of the season,” Murphy wrote. “In the NFL, quarterback is the most important position, but also the hardest position to play.”
Although the performance on offense hasn’t been good enough and the Packers haven’t won since Sept. 24, the team does have three one-score losses and three losses in which Green Bay led in the fourth quarter.
Murphy expressed confidence in LaFleur as a coach and the young talent of the team developing over the season’s final two months.
“It’s a long season and things can change quickly in the NFL,” Murphy wrote. “Over the next 10 games, the most important thing is to show improvement, gain confidence as a team, and learn how to win close games.”