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Countdown to Camp: Jordan Love ready to take reins of Packers' offense

Danny Etling and Sean Clifford set to compete for No. 2 job

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

"Countdown to Camp" is a daily look at the Packers' roster, position by position, leading up to the start of training camp. The series begins with the quarterbacks.

GREEN BAY – The summer of Jordan Love is almost upon us.

After three offseasons of leading the Packers' No. 1 offense, Love finally has the chance to carry that momentum into training camp instead of ceding the starting post back to Aaron Rodgers.

Love officially slid into the driver's seat after Rodgers was dealt to the New York Jets on April 26. The 24-year-old quarterback has played only 157 offensive snaps in three NFL seasons but showed signs of progress during a relief outing against Philadelphia last November.

The Packers still lost 40-33 to the NFC's eventual Super Bowl representative, but Love went 6-of-9 for 113 yards with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Christian Watson after stepping in for an injured Rodgers in the fourth quarter.

With that experience behind him, Love has led the Packers on the practice field while working to build a rapport with returning veterans and incoming rookies alike in the locker room.

In addition to being a full participant during the nine-week offseason program, Love also arranged throwing sessions with Packers receiver Romeo Doubs earlier this winter. Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones also flew to California in March to work out with Love.

In Green Bay this spring, the 6-foot-4 quarterback looked poised and confident while installing Head Coach Matt LaFleur's system. Love had some teachable moments, including a pair of interceptions in two-minute periods, but his arm strength and even-keeled demeanor were omnipresent during the five practices open to the Green Bay media.

Love will lean on that experience during his most important training camp to date and should have plenty of snaps to get comfortable. The Packers are scheduled for joint practices with both Cincinnati and New England prior to their preseason encounters.

The following is the first installment in a series of photos examining the Packers' roster position by position. This installment examines the quarterbacks.

The battle to back up Love will be contested between veteran Danny Etling and rookie fifth-round pick Sean Clifford, a four-year starter and team captain at Penn State who set program records in both passing yards (10,661) and passing TDs (86).

During his time at State College, Clifford fended off a challenge from fellow 2023 draft prospect Will Levis for the Nittany Lions' starting job. Levis finished his college career at Kentucky before getting drafted by Tennessee in the second round in April.

While a respected leader who can throw on the run, Clifford fell to Day 3 due to concerns over his mechanics, arm strength and footwork. However, that didn't stop the 6-foot-2, 218-pound quarterback from delivering some clutch passes during Green Bay's offseason program.

Clifford's shining moment came during a two-minute period on June 6, completing 9-of-11 passes for 75 yards with a 24-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Malik Heath to "win" the drill for the No. 3 offense.

Etling has had quite an interesting NFL journey. The former LSU quarterback turns 29 in two weeks and is the fifth-oldest player on Green Bay's roster. Yet, Etling has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game.

A seventh-round pick by New England in 2018, Etling won a Super Bowl as a member of the Patriots' practice squad before stints with Atlanta, Seattle, Minnesota, Denver, Jacksonville, and Green Bay.

Etling spent all last season on the Packers' practice squad after unseating Kurt Benkert for the No. 3 job. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback impressed in the preseason, completing 17-of-22 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown for a 123.3 passer rating.

"Danny's great. He's been around the league for a while," Love said. "He's seen a lot of different things and obviously he's been in this system now for a year, so he's familiar with the offense, as well. It's not like he's learning the offense as we're talking through stuff. He has that next level experience with it."

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