It’s actually been like that for some time in Titletown, hope and pray that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t get hurt. But at least with Matt Flynn, you were confident the Packers could get by for a short amount of time if anything were to happen to Rodgers––knock on wood.
Those days are long gone with Flynn now at the helm of his own team out in Oakland. Meanwhile, the backup quarterback situation in Green Bay is arguably the worst in the entire NFL.
Between Graham Harrell, Vince Young and B.J. Coleman, it’s possible that that Packers may not have a viable NFL quarterback in the group and will perhaps have to go back to “Square 1″ in the offseason.
Looking at how the Packers got to this point, when Coleman looked abysmal in the Packers’ intra-squad scrimmage back on Aug. 3, the Packers decided add Young to the equation.
Young might get the benefit of the doubt simply because he’s only been a member of the Packers for less than three weeks and has get to get a good grasp on Mike McCarthy’s offense, but there’s also a chance he never really picks it up, or at least to the extent you’d hope.
There was once a time when Young was the No. 3 overall player in the NFL draft and a Pro Bowl quarterback, but those days are over. He’s now 30 years old, and in the world of professional football, he’s an old dog being taught new tricks.
If this is the same Vince Young that threw four touchdowns and nine interceptions in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform in 2011 and couldn’t hang with the Buffalo Bills beyond training camp in 2012, he might not be worth the time investment that could be spent into developing a younger quarterback.
The incumbent backup to Rodgers is Harrell, who’s now entering his fourth season in Green Bay and has yet to inspire confidence in his abilities.
While he might have decent accuracy and know-how, Harrell just doesn’t have NFL caliber arm strength, and there’s only so long the Packers can wait on someone whose ceiling is as a career backup.
Coleman is the one trigger-puller for whom the Packers might still hold some hope. Granted, he hasn’t taken the step from Year 1 to Year 2 that they had wished, but he’s still young enough for the light bulb to go on.
With Coleman, the raw tools are there. It’s just that the entire puzzle has yet to come together. The decision making and the accuracy aren’t there.
But he has the arm and the desire to succeed. The touchdown throw he made in the fourth quarter of the game against the St. Louis Rams to tight end Jake Stoneburner was the finest play made by a Packers quarterback this preseason, and that includes Rodgers.
It would be extremely difficult for the Packers to hang onto Coleman as their No. 2 quarterback, however. The trust level isn’t quite what it needs to be, but neither is it with Harrell or Young. And as long as Rodgers is healthy, they won’t need a backup quarterback except in mop-up time.
The Packers more than likely have two choices ahead of them, and neither is particularly appealing.
Plan A is to just get by with what they have in 2013 and go back to the drawing board in 2014. That would entail adding a quarterback in the offseason, most likely a mid-round draft choice but perhaps a veteran free agent.
Plan B is to grab a castoff from another NFL team when the league’s final cutdown date occurs on Aug. 31 and hope he’s better than what the Packers have now.
What makes Plan B especially difficult is that no matter who the Packers were to sign or be awarded on waivers, it’s nearly impossible for that player to be ready to be Rodgers’ backup by Week 1. They’d almost certainly have to keep one of the quarterbacks currently on the roster as insurance, even if only temporarily.
Any way you dice it up, it’s not looking like the Packers’ backup quarterback in 2014 is currently on their roster.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” and editor of Cheesehead TV’s “Pro Football Draft Preview.” To contact Brian, email email@example.com.