NFL

LaFleur calls for Packers patience as Love aims to replace 'generational talent' Rodgers

By Sports Desk March 28, 2023

The Green Bay Packers are prepared to be patient as Jordan Love attempts to replace "generational talent" Aaron Rodgers.

That was the message from Packers coach Matt LaFleur on Tuesday as Rodgers seems set to join the New York Jets.

The veteran quarterback's trade still needs finalisation from Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, but LaFleur has already started to envisage life without Rodgers.

Love, a first-round pick in 2020, has waited three years for his chance and LaFleur acknowledged it will take time for the 24-year-old to develop.

"[Rodgers' impending trade] is what it is, and at the same time, we're excited about Jordan and how he's been able to progress as a quarterback, how he's matured as a man," LaFleur at the NFL's Annual League Meeting in Phoenix. "It's going to be a different role for him, certainly, and I think we all have to kind of temper our expectations for him.

"It's different when you're going into a game versus when you're starting a game. It's going to be a process, but it's going to be exciting for him, for us.

"I don't think any quarterback can truly do it on their own in this league. So it's going to be everybody rallying around him and trying to be at the best of their ability so that he can go out there and perform as good as he possibly can."

Love has just one career start to his name, for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021, along with two appearances as a replacement.

Despite calling for the Packers to be patient with Love, LaFleur sees progress in the young quarterback who has had to wait in the wings behind superstar Rodgers.

"He's come a long way, quite frankly," LaFleur added. "I know there were some times where early on, it's just, you don't know. I still think you have to go out there and you have got to do it consistently.

"It's one thing to do it in practice. It's another thing to take it to the game field and do it but certainly have seen his performance in practice, his mechanics, his decisions, his timing within the pass game and just his accuracy. I think he's come a long way."

As for Rodgers' impending trade to the Jets, LaFleur will leave that in the hands of Gutekunst and New York's general manager Joe Douglas as he prepares to work with whatever roster the Packers provide.

"That's all between Joe and Gutey," he continued. "I'm going to leave that one to them. We'll coach whoever's on our roster.

"We'll coach them to the best of our ability and we are always going to put the best players out there that are going to give us an opportunity to win football games."

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    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Radio Station KKFI said on social media that one of their presenters, DJ Lisa Lopez, was killed in the shooting.

    KKFI said in a statement: “Our hearts and prayers are with her family. This senseless act has taken a beautiful person from her family and this KC Community.”

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

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    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

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    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Travis Kelce wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “I am heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today. My heart is with all who came out to celebrate with us and have been affected. KC, you mean the world to me.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

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    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

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    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

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    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

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