Hard to Love the Packers When Pride Conquers All

Nick Shook at nfl.com has eight observations from training camps around the league. He says that Jordan Love is eager to get started as he replaces Aaron Rodgers at quarterback for the Packers.

“I’m the man now and it’s going to be fun,” Love said. “It’s going to be on display all year with the team, and it’s just bringing everybody along, have fun with the guys and make the most fun of this opportunity we got.”

The offense might look a little different without No. 12 behind center, but as Love explained Saturday, it’s still going to be Matt LaFleur’s system dictated by the coach’s decisions. Considering [head coach Matt] LaFleur‘s past success, that’s a good thing. But with Rodgers gone, expectations have admittedly changed.

Whether it’s a good thing or not is debatable.

The seven deadly sins were first formulated by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century. They include wrath, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, and sloth. But pride is considered to be the gravest and the root of the other six.

I’d say football coaches are particularly prone to it.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of what Rodgers was doing with the Packers over the last few years. Rodgers became too much of a see it, throw it quarterback and relied upon his athletic ability to make plays when he was not absolutely sure that a guy would be open. He didn’t do too much anticipation because that leads to turnovers if the receiver is in the wrong spot. And turnovers are bad for individual statistics. They can lead to bad plays on Sports Center even when the team wins.

In any case, as the article implies, he wasn’t really running LaFleur‘s offense as LaFleur would like to see it run.

But there’s no doubt that Rodgers is a great quarterback and he raised the level of the performance of that team. To his credit, LaFleur has been suppressing his feelings and he’s compromised to allow Rodgers to do it his way.

But in the end, LaFleur’s no different than most. Coaches tend to have big egos and I have no doubt LaFleur thinks that if he gets a quarterback that will run his system, the Packers will do better than they did with Rodgers. And undoubtedly he’s been raring for the opportunity to show it.

He might want to be prepared for a bit of a let down.

Time after time when we’ve seen teams in this position fall once a great quarterback leaves. Tom Brady leaving the Patriots is a prime example. Despite the fact that they have Bill Belichick, the Patriots have never been the same since Brady left.

And LaFleur is not the greatest football coach of all time.

It’s likely that the Packers will struggle in Love’s first year almost regardless. Even Rodgers’ first season as a starter after taking over from Brett Favre was less than stellar (the Packers went 6-10). But even that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t count on the Packers being as good without Rogers as they were with him.

The Packers have been on a wonderful streak for 25 years. But pride goeth before the fall. This could be the beginning.

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