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Boyle, Rodgers working closely together in Packers' QB room

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Boyle, Rodgers working closely together in Packers' QB room

-- The discrepancies between Aaron Rodgers and Tim Boyle are vast, but both Green Bay Packers quarterbacks entered this year's offseason program tasked with the responsibility of learning a new offense under the same roof.

Working closely with Rodgers is not only something that few quarterbacks can toot their own horn about, but it's a perk that comes with the job of being a backup quarterback in Green Bay these days. Whether it's a No. 2 like DeShone Kizer or a No. 3 like Boyle, becoming a sponge and soaking up every last bit of information expelled from Rodgers is a must.

But there's no guarantee that Boyle will be the Packers' third-string quarterback for long.

"He's definitely taken me under his wing," Boyle told Paul Augeri of MiddlesexCountySports.com this week. "I ask him questions all the time and he likes to talk ball with me. He goes out of his way to tell me things that work for him, just to see if they'll rub off on me a little bit."

Boyle, an undrafted free agent picked up by the Packers last year, has yet to throw a regular-season pass. That's not a testament to him, however -- Rodgers played in all 16 games in 2018 despite limping through each week with a tibial plateau fracture and MCL sprain in his knee.

The only times the Packers needed a backup quarterback to fill in for Rodgers was in the season opener against the Chicago Bears where he suffered the initial injury, a kneel-down against the Atlanta Falcons in December and a majority of the season finale against the Detroit Lions where Rodgers was removed with a concussion. Kizer was the option all three times.

If it wasn't for his flashes of promise in the preseason, Boyle wouldn't even have a spot on the Packers' roster after September's final cut-downs. But after completing just under 50 percent of his passes for 294 yards and clinging a trio of touchdowns, there was a high chance another team would swipe Boyle up if the Packers even thought about stashing him on the practice squad.

There's also a high chance Boyle sticks around on the Packers' 53-man roster in 2019. Especially if he repeats -- or even builds off of -- his promising exhibition campaign a year ago. In the midst of forming a close working relationship with Rodgers, he's off to a good start.

"When you're around a guy like that, you take certain things from the game, the mental approach and the physical approach, and see what works for you. Mentally, if he's hurt [it is educational] just seeing how he prepares every week. He's always preparing.

"I tell a lot of people this, in my opinion [Aaron] has the most arm talent in the NFL of any quarterback by far -- strength and accuracy. In point-blank terms, he is an absolute freak. He's just different. When you're around someone like that, it rubs off on you. I feel that my arm strength is better now than in 2018. I feel I have to keep up with Aaron Rodgers. Our friendship continues to grow and he's been awesome to me."

A new offensive staff has mapped out the groundwork for what the Packers are trying to accomplish on that side of the ball this season. Going from Mike McCarthy, Joe Philbin and Frank Cignetti Jr. to Matt LaFleur, Nathaniel Hackett and Luke Getsy is the most change Boyle has seen in his professional career.

It rivals his collegiate years, at least. After spending three years at the University of Connecticut, Boyle transferred to Eastern Kentucky where he played in 11 games for the Colonels and threw more interceptions than he did touchdowns. The only difference was his role was solidified whereas his time with the Huskies amounted to just 19 games played through three seasons.

With the Packers, he knows what's expected of him and the heights his career could travel if he plays his cards properly.

"The biggest thing is I feel comfortable knowing what the expectation is as an NFL player," Boyle said. "Like in college, its like you're running around with your head cut off, wondering what kind of reps you're going to get. This time, round two, I have an understanding of what's expected of me.

"It will be about staying consistent in year two and being reliable for my coaches and teammates."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Hematite's picture

Personally, I would like to see Boyle win the # 2 job behind Rodgers.

TheVOR's picture

I kind of hope they give Boyle and Kizer equal opportunities to run with the mixed 1's - 2's group. I we're in a position where we're just going to keep 1 guy behind Rodgers, then I really think they need a fair competition behind him, meaning Kizer and Boyle should get equal talent around them throughout the Pre-Season to objectively decide what they are.

In fact, the only known commodity is in fact Kizer, and he's never won a football game, EVER! And he's played a lot of starting QB in the NFL already! I have more of a tendency to say "we already know what Kizer is" shouldn't we be taking a harder look at Boyle? We already know Kizer can't win football games as a starter or a backup?

Bearmeat's picture

I think if ARod gets hurt, we don't have another NFL QB on the roster. Including Tim Boyle.

Handsback's picture

Kizer has this year to prove he can be a starter in the NFL. Boyle started at a very low level and has shown some improvement. I don't think Green Bay will carry 2 reserve QBs. Rodgers and either Kizer or Boyle which ever one shows he can lead the offense will get that reserve pick.

Lare's picture

I would not be at all surprised to see Kizer traded or released at final cutdowns and Boyle kept as Rodgers backup. I just don't see Kizer as being a good fit in this offense, let's hope someone else sees him as a good fit in theirs.

Guam's picture

Kizer has more pro experience and a better college background, but has yet to demonstrate that he can lead the Packers to a victory. Boyle has a mediocre college background and no experience. Neither resume is very exciting.

murf7777's picture

Maybe Kizer should be in that room soaking up some of Aaron’s knowledge and advice?

NMPF's picture

riveting

4zone's picture

Talent is there for both backups, its just a matter of whether or not 'the light comes on.' There's that switch inside where one day, if you're lucky, you just 'get it.' Both are worth the shot, but there are no guarantees. I certainly would like to see Boyle get a lot more opportunity in the preseason to get a much better feel of how he might be on game day. With all the talk of shortening the preseason, there still is a real purpose for it, backup QB is part of that.

Ferrari Driver's picture

You may be correct, but Kiser has had his switch flipped on a number of times with no light so far.

flackcatcher's picture

DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THE LACK OF PRACTICE TIME. (Thanks veterans players, owners for signing a CBA that screws over players like Boyle and Kizer from learning how to practicing their craft. From making career threatening injuries all to common and least I forget. Making the first 4-6 games look like a damn pickup game! Thank you. Thank you very much....)

Coldworld's picture

I agree. Shortening the ore season would come back to bite unless they have a spring league run under auspices of parent team to get these guys practice and development time. They already provide the majority of players too little of either.

PatrickGB's picture

I have seen little or nothing from our backups. Part of that may be due to MM’s system. Perhaps the new scheme will fit one or both of them better. Let’s hope we never do get a chance to see them except during garbage time when we have blown the other team out.

TheBigCheeze's picture

trade kizer......keep boyle.......Rodgers needs to bulk up a little....

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

It is my opinion some are being unfair towards the two backup QB's. Both are incredibly young even Kizer going into year 3. Both have a lot of upside potential. How often do you hear the experts say you cannot judge a draft for 3 to 4 years? Kizer is extremely young going into year 3. Boyle is very young and just entering year two. Both still younger than high percentage of QB's coming out of college.

Plus, the comment "I have seen little or nothing from our backups" while true in particular isnt fair to Boyle who hasn't played even one snap in a regular season game.

It is routinely stated the toughest position to play in all sports is QB. Give these guys some time to grow. Unless they do not show poise and growth thru camp and preseason I say keep both on 53 again. I do agree Kizer is on the hot seat with the experience he has and significant growth is mandatory for him.

In terms of Boyle the guy seems to have almost unlimited potential if he can process information better and make better decisions with the ball. Rarely have I seen such an NFL arm. Love hearing he is connecting with Rodgers and they are spending a lot of time together.

Samson's picture

Just one problem with your analysis. -- Very rarely do "wannabe BU QBs" show their true potential in meaningless preseason games against many fringe roster players also trying to land a job in the NFL.

Are you willing to possibly sacrifice season 2019 to find out if Kizer and/or Boyle are true NFL QBs who can win a few games in AR's absence?

Gute needs to reevaluate his BU QB plan before 9/5/19. --- I'd hate to see Kizer/Boyle flounder after a great free agency & draft & potentially doom an entire season. --- That's basically what TT did for years.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Samson,
Why when the Pack was mathematically out of the playoffs last year with 3 games remaining in the season I strongly advocated that Boyle and Tonyan get playing time vs injured QB1 and injured TE1. Not just because of (1) further injury to starters (concussion) (2) better draft position (3) but because Boyle and Tonyan needed game experience, and the Packers would have a better idea what they had in these players.

Personally, I do not see the Packers making a trade for a backup QB before the season starts. I also do not see the Packers picking up a veteran QB off the streets because there will not be time to fully learn the offense. This year will be Kizer and Boyle's last chance to prove themselves because if they dont I see Gute drafting a QB in 2020 with Rodgers being 37 years old.

With a significantly better OL and WR's combined with the new offense scheme the odds Rodger's plays all 16+ games improve exponentially. If Boyle (in particular) and/or Kizer show significant progress I absolutely would go into 2019 season with them. I would so rather have a very good young QB in one of them vs needing to use a #1 or #2 for a QB in 2020.

sonomaca's picture

The Pack were reportedly hot for Drew Lock in round 2. If true, that means they’re not particularly keen on Kizer or Boyle.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Or that means you buy into that report. Of the Packers were that big on lock they could have drafted him. I would have beem happy of they did. I'm fine with the fact that they didn't. If they weren't keen on Kizer/Boyle there would jave been more serious competition brought in for training camp. Lets see what Getsy does with them.

marpag1's picture

Kizer, Boyle... OK, whatever. It's like debating whether you would prefer to die by poison or by gunshot.

"I'll take 'Liabilities' for 200, Alex..."

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Marp,
Poison or gunshot! :)

Starr57's picture

I'll name you 3 backup qb's in the last 20 years that actually kept the team in the playoff hunt.

1. Matt Cassel went 11-5 when Brady was hurt.
Even that wasn't enough to make the playoffs.

2. Matt Flynn went 2-2-1 when Aaron was hurt keeping The Packers in the hunt, allowing Aaron to come back and beat The Bears, with a little help from Randall Cobb, to win the division.

3. Of course is Nick Foles the last 2 years in Philly.
Foles had been a starter in the league before, was reasy to retire, but came back to Philly when Pederson asked him to.

There may be others, but not many.
Any team loses their FRANCHISE Qb for a long period of time, they are in trouble.

Hopefully both Kizor and Boyle make strides this preseason and we don't hear from either of them until next year

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