With Packer fans in full-fledged speculation mode about the possible moves Ted Thompson could make to fill out the depth chart behind Aaron Rodgers, the one name that is M.I.A is Tim Rattay. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Packers should sign Rattay now and forget all this nonsense about possibly trading for Chris Simms or Sage Rosenfels. The draft pick the Packers would use on either of those (or any other) signal callers would be much better spent on a draft prospect who could grow in McCarthy’s system and either take the job from Rodgers or become valuable trade bait, a la Mark Brunell, Aaron Brooks or Matt Hasselbeck. But to send even a mid-level pick for the likes of Simms is just throwing value away.
Now, I don’t advocate the signing of Rattay as the cure-all. The Pack would be wise to use one of their first day picks on a QB as well, if the board falls right. As Ron Wolf pointed out, you can’t win in the NFL without a quarterback, and you can never have too many good ones. Another similar quote that I think Packer fans might become all too familiar with in the coming years comes from John Madden, who opines something akin to the following: There are always plenty of quarterbacks available when you don’t need one, but the moment your team is desperate for a quarterback, there is nary a quality one to be found.
Is Rattay a ‘quality’ quarterback? I believe he is. People will point to his one year in Arizona, his most recent stop, where he got to play in two games, look at the stats, and decry my choice. But that is a naive way of judging Rattay’s talent. Arizona’s passing offense couldn’t be more dissimilar to what the Packers run. No, to see what Rattay is capable of, look at his work with San Francisco, or better yet, his few starts with Tampa Bay. He didn’t light the world on fire, but he was more than serviceable, and why Gruden ever got rid of him for Jeff Garcia, I’ll never know. I truly believe, given the chance, Rattay would have a Rich Gannon-like resurgence in the Packers’ system under McCarthy. That’s not to say this isn’t Aaron Rodgers’ team, but the fact is Rodgers has yet to prove that he can play an entire game, let alone a season, without getting hurt, which is why Thompson and the Packers need to stock up on quarterback talent, starting with Rattay.