GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers training camp starts on July 27, with the first practice on July 28. Our Training Camp Countdown series continues with the first of our positional previews, the quarterbacks.
Packers Quarterback Depth Chart Quick Reads
Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers won his third MVP in 2020 by winning the Percentage Triple Crown of completion percentage (70.7), touchdown percentage (9.13) and interception percentage (0.95). Notably, his completion rate crushed his 62.3 percent in 2018 during his final season under Mike McCarthy and 62.0 percent in 2019 during his first season under Matt LaFleur. He is second in the 2021 MVP market.
Jordan Love: The first-round pick in 2020, he didn’t play a single snap as a rookie as he was No. 3 on the depth chart behind Rodgers and Tim Boyle. During his final year at Utah State, he led the nation with 17 interceptions. For comparison, Rodgers threw 17 interceptions over 49 starts the past four seasons. He had one sensational practice during minicamp.
Blake Bortles: Bortles was a bust as the third overall pick of the 2014 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, he got the Jags to the cusp of one Super Bowl with Nathaniel Hackett as the offensive coordinator and has 73 career starts under his belt.
Kurt Benkert: An undrafted free agent in 2018, Benkert beat out Chad Kelly for a spot on the offseason roster with his performance at the two-day rookie minicamp. He spent the past three seasons with the Falcons.
Jake Dolegala: An undrafted free agent out of Central Connecticut in 2019, he spent his rookie season on the Bengals’ 53-man roster and most of 2020 on the Patriots’ practice squad. He became Green Bay’s fifth quarterback after trying out at minicamp.
Big Story Lines at Quarterback
One: Rodgers’ future is the biggest question in the league entering the 2021 season. Simply put, with Rodgers, the Packers have a chance to win the Super Bowl. Without Rodgers, there would be some serious growing pains with Love. If Rodgers returns, will he be back for the first practice of training camp on July 28? After the preseason games are complete? And will there be a new contract involved?
Two: If Rodgers returns, will he play at an MVP level again after missing all of the offseason practices? For all the public conjecture about whether Rodgers would be fully committed to winning if he does rejoin the team, it’s hard to believe Rodgers would return and not be fully committed to playing at his usual standard.
Three: The Packers went from Brett Favre to Rodgers, meaning three decades of quarterbacking excellence. It seems impossible to believe the Packers could have a third consecutive Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback with Love. He had one amazing practice at minicamp, though, so who knows?
“Nobody really knows, right?” quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy said. “You don’t know until you get to play in a game or play in that situation. The unfortunate thing of not having any kind of preseason hindered that. As far as where he’s at, where he was a year ago today to as we sit here in this room today, he’s light-years ahead. His comfortability with the offense is way, way improved. His ability to feel the rhythm of a concept, to feel the rhythm of a throw, is so much better. He’s so much more comfortable. Just the way he’s barking out the play call in the huddle and the way his command is at the line of scrimmage and the cadence and all that stuff, we’re progressing in a positive manner.”
Including the potentially dynamic one-two punch of running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, there are enough solid supporting pieces in place that Love wouldn’t have to win games by himself.
Four: Who will round out the depth chart? If Rodgers doesn’t return, Bortles would seem to be a lock to provide a veteran set of eyes for Love. If Rodgers does return, Dolegala presumably would be released, meaning it would be Bortles vs. Benkert for the No. 3 gig.
Quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy says
How do you refine the offense with Rodgers in mind if Rodgers isn’t present?
“We’ve had two full seasons to iron a lot of that stuff out. I think the direction that we have right now is way more in line with where we want to go and where we want to be when it comes to that first game in September. Sure, you would love to have him here and have those conversations again just to tighten things up again. But the COVID situation actually may have helped us in the sense of how much time we were able to spend together via that Zoom and really dive into that, and that’s why we were able to be so dramatic in how much we changed from one year to the next. I think we have a pretty good idea of what we need to tweak in getting ready to go for this season.”