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Packers Must Move Forward at Quarterback

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has confirmed that Brett Hundley is the team’s new starting quarterback and Joe Callahan is his backup. No surprise there. Callahan, with the Packers for two years now, had been on the practice squad since the start of the regular season, but was instantly elevated to the active roster on Monday.

Big Mike refuses to talk about any other QB possibilities. But of course the team is in hot pursuit of a third QB. Whether on the active roster or the practice squad, you should have a third option, which for the Packers had been Callahan. That spot now has to be filled. There are a few teams that rely on only two, leaving them to simply to take the best unemployed QB out there if an injury hits – but that is pretty much conceding the season, which I trust the Packers won’t do.

The question becomes: what are the Packers looking for in the QB search: possible starter, backup, or practice squad guy – No. 1, 2, or 3?

I suspect what McCarthy says is partially true: they are comfortable going forward with Hundley. If they can come up with a quality veteran, or someone else who slipped through the cracks, however, that player would certainly be in the running for the number two spot, and perhaps even be a challenger to Hundley should he bomb out. The top spot would also be open if Hundley gets injured – a contingency that must be planned for. Callahan does as well as he can, but he doesn’t have a pro-level arm.

Colin Kaepernick?

Politics aside, I would have thought Kaepernick’s stats were in a steep downward spiral. Not so. In starting all year in 2014, he went 8-8, with an 86.4 passer rating. In 2015, he went 2-6 on his starts, with a 78.5 rating. In 2016, he was back to a 90.7 rating, but went 1-10 in his starts. Still that rating, 17th best, exceeded that of Tyrod Taylor, Phillip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, Eli Manning, Trevor Siemian, Joe Flacco, Carson Wentz, Cam Newton, and so on – and he was on a truly rotten team.

His career passer rating in six years with the 49ers, is a commendable 88.9. That also bests most of the above QBs for their careers to date, as well as a guy named Favre (86.0).

Profiling Brett Hundley

Like most fans — and his teammates — I like Hundley. This is all based, of course, on two preseasons of work. He missed out on most of the 2016 preseason games due to an ankle injury.

While at UCLA from 2012 to 2014, Hundley also excelled. He is the school’s career leader in total offense and in touchdown throws.

In Hundley, you get a smart player, a strong arm, and decent accuracy. He’s shown a great work ethic as Rodgers’ backup. He has NFL size, at 6’3” and 226 pounds. You also get three years of learning Green Bay’s system and playbook, and that amount of time getting familiar with the team’s receivers – which might be his most valuable attribute of all.

Here’s where Hundley drew the league’s attention: in the 2015 preseason, he was the leagues’ highest-rated rookie passer, with a glowing 129.6 rating. He also led all QBs with 630 passing yards. Those trailing him included Marcus Mariota (102.9, the only other of 14 QBs in triple digits), Trevor Siemian (85.7), and Jameis Winston (52.7). Rookies simply aren’t supposed to achieve a rating like Hundley’s.

Normally, we don’t pay much attention to quarterbacks’ NFL Combine numbers, other than arm strength measures and the Wonderlic (intelligence) grade. My eyes tell me that Hundley is neither very fast nor quick on his feet. But guess what his combine numbers say: 4.63 dash time, 86th percentile (among QBs); 76th and 98th percentiles on the two agility tests; 90th percentile or higher on the two jump tests. My eyes were wrong, he’s plenty big, quick, shifty, and just a fine overall athlete.

What about that Wonderlic score? It’s 28 – solid, identical to that of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles, Mark Sanchez, and the like. In any event, there’s little relationship between these scores and success on the field.

Here’s a teaser for you: who has Hundley said is his favorite target? Big hint: he is Rodgers’ least favorite. The answer is Jeff Janis. In preseason games, about the only time either one gets to play on offense, the two have hooked up on a number of deep balls. It won’t matter to McCarthy, of course, but let the record show Hundley has great confidence in throwing to Green Bay’s forgotten receiver. The same can also be said for Joe Callahan.

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Rob Born

Someone else said it first but I popularized it: “Athleticism is important in athletic pursuits.” It took three years, but the Packers finally listened. My new mantra: “Trading down is fine, but never trade up.”

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20 Comments

  1. MMTTDCSUCK October 17, 2017

    Rob had to do it! Let the “Janis” cat out of the bag . . . Janis is a good receiver. Either MM does not like him or A. Rodgers does not. Or both after the cunt Buffoon relegated Janis to the bench on kickoff returns. Hell Janis recovered and still got some yards on that mis-handled KO. Fuck MM and his inept play-calling and coaching. Give Hundley the ball, let Janis play! See how fucking good he really is. Like Rob said both of the other QB’s love Janis. That actually speaks volumes about how good he could actually become if given the chance . . .

    1. PF4L October 17, 2017

      How do you know that it wasn’t Zook who benched Janis? Maybe Zook hates him also….smh.

      Janis will get his chance soon, as soon as the Packers quit wasting a roster spot on him and let him go. Then if another team picks him up, we’ll see how good of a receiver he is. The fact that Hundley and Callahan may love him, is not actual proof of how good of a receiver he will/might be. But that comment was comical and made me smile, thank you again.

      1. MMTTDCSUCK October 18, 2017

        Why would a factual comment from QB’s that throw to him DAILY be comical? That is reality PF4L, not cynical conjecture as your opinion is. They live it everyday with Janis, You DO NOT. Keep up the false narrative . . .

        1. PF4L October 18, 2017

          Again…you don’t know who benched him or not, that is reality.

          Also, you don’t know if McCarthy doesn’t like Janis, or if Rodgers doesn’t Janis, that isn’t reality, that is your cynical conjecture dipshit. Or did someone on the internet tell you those two don’t like Janis, so you assume that as fact?

          Now feel free to post some more stupid shit, we have grown to expect it.

          1. MMTTDCSUCK October 18, 2017

            Hey (fill in the blank with any invective that you can handle), if you saw my retort and actually UNDERSTOOD IT, then you would see that I referenced that the 2 QB’s that work with him daily stated that. Where did I mention “benched” in my last post? Let me help you here know it all . . . NO FUCKING WHERE. Again, this is your narrative speaking, not what I last posted. First foot, then the next foot . . . Mr. Knee jerk . . . Jerk

          2. PF4L October 18, 2017

            Now feel free to post some more stupid shit, we have grown to expect it.

        2. MMTTDCSUCK October 19, 2017

          PF4L interesting that you always DEFLECT when you are left without recourse . . . Now you go ahead and continue to post stupid shit, because people have “voiced” that quite often about you in here. Have a nice day :)

          1. PF4L October 19, 2017

            Know what else they posted, many, many, more times? How good my post were.

            Now listen…..go ahead and throw a few $20 words at me. I’ll let you get in the last word, so you can act like you won something and i’ll even stop controlling you…..for a couple of days anyway. :)

          2. MMTTDCSUCK October 20, 2017

            Another deflection . . . at least your are consistent about not answering with a reasonable response. More stupid shit eh?

  2. Gort October 17, 2017

    When Rob mentioned Jeff Janis, it reminded me that he was not in his customary kick returner position for several kicks. Any insight on that – hurt, doghouse, etc?

  3. Gort October 17, 2017

    Forgot about the bobbled kickoff – doghouse.

  4. PF4L October 17, 2017

    That’s just terrific.

    I won’t even dignify the Kaepernick comments.

    Hundley was the 3rd string QB in that pre-season. Do you know what that means? He’s playing against most guys who are bench warmers or future drive thru employees at your local Burger King. Lets stop with the pre-season MVP rant from 3 years ago already, or how he did in the combine. That doesn’t make him a NFL quarterback.

    What has Hundley done against real football players, in real games? LET THE RECORD SHOW….1td – 4 picks, 48% completion percentage, 28 passer rating, etc. I wouldn’t have even brought that up, but please….get some perspective.

    Even with that said….I give Hundley a 100% free pass on that last game. He was fed to the wolves. The least we can give him is some time to work with the starters and prepare. Say what you want about Zimmer, but his defense is no joke. Hundley was sent to the slaughter house. Even with that, he made a few nice throws.

    So what is the upside of Hundley? His biggest asset to me is his feet, he’s got some wheels and movement to avoid a rush, and buy some time. Probably traits picked up in the film room watching Rodgers survive for as long as he has. Let the kid get some prep time, get some timing down with the ones. I don’t know a lot, but one thing i do know is, that Hundley and McCarthy won’t be getting much time off during the bye week.

    I wish the kid good luck. If he could go 5-5 the rest of the way behind that line, that would be a job well done.

  5. Howard October 18, 2017

    It is common for backup QBs to have a favorite receiver be a backup WR, TE, or RB. Hundley is throwing the ball to guys like Janis, Davis, Allison, RRodgers, Jones, etc. every day in practice running the scout team. Hundley is more familiar with those guys tendencies. The timing with the backups is probably better from the quantity of reps together.

    You could say for the next game or two putting someone like Janis or any of the other backups in the game would provide Hundley a security blanket. Hundley is QB #1 now. He needs to work out the timing with the other #1 skill players. If you want to be the best you have to play with the best. The best Packer skill players will be on the field to help out Hundley. If only we could say the same for the O-line. Even though I think it would be good to send a pass or two deep on first or second down to keep the defense from stacking the line reality says Hundley probably would not have the time behind that current line.

    1. Mitch Anthony October 18, 2017

      I agree with Rob (best articles on the site), and I agree with the others who made points that it would actually make good sense to have Hundley throwing to targets he is comfortable with. If that means Janis, or Davis, or Dick Rodge, or whomever. At this point, does it really matter? Give it a shot.

      1. Empacador October 19, 2017

        Well DickRodge can’t do any worse than Bennett right now…

  6. PF4L October 18, 2017

    Not only that Howard, but in regards to his MVP season in 2015. He was 3rd string, Nelson and Cobb won’t be on the field when he gets in, receivers like Janis, White, Pinkard will be. So obviously, that’s who he throws to, not because Janis is his favorite receiver. Not like he has a choice….Rob

  7. Ferris October 18, 2017

    It’s nice some people have optimism. He’s going to be terrible and McCarthy is a terrible coach. I can win games in the NFL with Rodgers and a good offensive line. GB has neither. I’d be excited about a high draft pick if they had a different GM. One more year of Rodgers career wasted, dirty play or not.

    1. PF4L October 18, 2017

      I didn’t have optimism, or any illusion this team was going to a Super Bowl, before the season started. The loss of Rodgers does two things….

      1) They won’t automatically get in the playoffs.

      2) The weakness of this team, the coaching staff, and upper management, will now be exposed.

      I’ve said this team is broken, back in the off season, before Rodgers injury, and i still say it.

      The reality is, Rodgers is out. There is a reason everyone is losing their mind over this, including anyone employed by the Packers. Rodgers, was, is, and will be their only hope for success. Coach up Hundley all you want, Aaron Rodgers he isn’t.

      This team can’t operate without #12. Been saying it for years.

  8. Deepsky October 18, 2017

    The Packers will be lucky to win 2 more games.

    “Hello, this is 1990 calling. Where have all you Packer fans been all these years?”

    I’m with Ferris on this one. Maybe this gives the Packers an opportunity to draft a difference making defensive lineman/outside linebacker. Let’s hope its not another Vinnie Clark.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK October 18, 2017

      Agreed, but the same problem with that pick remains . . . TT (The Frugal GM) will be picking. So far he has NOT chosen well in the 1st Round that often, and that is a bummer.