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Cory's Corner: Brett Hundley 2.0

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Cory's Corner: Brett Hundley 2.0

We may have just seen Brett Hundley 2.0.

The Packers never knew what Hundley was going to give them when he started nine games last year. He looked lost, confused and frankly, overmatched — and because of those things, Green Bay traded for DeShone Kizer.

The Kizer trade happened 133 days before the start of camp. Apparently, Hundley’s been thinking about it for awhile because he looked different leading the team as the starter in Thursday’s 31-17 preseason win over the Titans.

Hundley rolled to his right, he rolled to left and led the team down the field on the opening drive for a touchdown. The 48-yard completion to Davante Adams was a thing of beauty, not because Adams toasted the newly minted $61 million cornerback in Malcolm Butler but Hundley put the ball exactly where it had to be.

The reason why the play happened was because Hundley actually stepped up in the pocket and showcased some pocket awareness. Granted, Harold Landry came off the edge and knocked the ball loose and Gimel President got past right tackle Byron Bell like he was standing still and Hundley was hit as he threw a fluttering pick. But Hundley was remembered for his graduated play, not for two weird plays.

“For me this year though, it’s the anticipation, it’s the understanding, it’s the game slowing down so things are a lot easier,” Hundley said, who finished 9-for-14 with 108 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 81.9. “I just feel calmer back there.”

Hundley couldn’t be more right. He looked different back there. He didn’t show off his happy feet which made the Lambeau Field faithful groan last year whenever he chopped his feet in the pocket, unsure of his next move.

But Hundley clearly has gotten better. He showed off his running ability plenty last year, but on Thursday, he proved that pocket passers are what win in this league.

So the next question is, what does this mean? Now, I’m not saying that Hundley is Green Bay’s backup quarterback. But that performance at least showed to other NFL general managers that he can still be a backup in this league. He can make a lot of throws and even show off a little pocket poise.

If anyone loved Hundley’s performance, it was Brian Gutekunst. He sent away Damarious Randall and was happy to get back a former second rounder to serve and learn as Aaron Rodgers’ backup.

It’s pretty ironic that the trade that may ultimately end Hundley’s time in Green Bay is the same transaction that will earn him another job in this league. Hundley is still an athletic guy, he has a good arm and he clearly trusts his wideouts. It’s all mental now. And after slogging through five starts with a passer rating less than 60 last season, Hundley appears that he has finally figured it out in his fourth training camp.

“For me, my focus is to compete against myself; make sure I’m getting better,” said Hundley. “And I’m not focusing on anybody else but myself because that distracts me from me.”

Pretty telling words from a guy that could’ve mailed it in last March when he heard about the trade. He didn’t and now he at least has a fighting chance at an NFL job.


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (52) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

He may be slightly better, but you don't turn into a different player in your 4th year. Let's keep in mind that this was the 1st preseason game. The Titans weren't game-planning to win, their schemes were about as vanilla as you can get, and their best players didn't even play. He was playing against scrubs by the 3rd series.

Nope. Not buying it.

PAPackerbacker's picture

I liked Boyle's performance better than either Hundley or Kiser. Kiser has time to develop. Hundley had 3 years of development but just can't get it done. But it is only the first preseason game.

Bure9620's picture

Yes Boyle has a live arm.

Tundraboy's picture

Nope. I'm not buying it either, although the 3 seasons experience he's had wasn't very much, both in game and coaching by MM and staff. Yet for some reason, perhaps its my eyes clouded by my distaste for how the Packers look with Hundley at quarterback, our Offense looked a lot better with Boyle.

Turophile's picture

Buy it.....don't buy it, it really makes no difference.

The QB battle will be decided by who plays best. You don't cut off your nose to spite your face, by choosing the second or third best QB as backup.

If the best QB is Hundley, go forward with him. If it is Kizer, same applies - heck it even applies if Boyle is better than both of them.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

If it is close, Hundley loses even if he is a bit better. We have one year of control over Hundley, and three years over Kizer and Boyle. It isn't all about just 2018. Same with the WRs.

JohnnyLogan's picture

I'm not buying either. If his preseason lands a 7th round draft pick take it. He shouldn't be the backup and I doubt he will be. He has one year left on his contract. Everyone and his brother thought Hill was better than Hundley last preseason and we lost Hill to a very grateful Saints team. Don't make the same mistake losing Boyle. The kid as an arm and already the ability to stay in the pocket. I'm guessing a poll would show most Packer fans would be more confident in Boyle than Hundley. Hope Hundley kills it all preseason, then ship him out.

Coldworld's picture

Absolutely agree. The greater the expectations the worse his performance. To know if the change is real would require him to play at home in the real season in my view. I can’t bring myself to the point where even the prospect of that is palatable.

The only reason I can see for going a different path (injury aside) I can conceive of is that Kizer improves so much to warrant a much higher pick and Boyle continues to develop. Then maybe the upside from the trade would be enough to go with Hundley to give Boyle another year?

WKUPackFan's picture

If the Saints were so grateful they would not be exposing Hill on special teams.

It is fairly obvious why some fans are so butt hurt over losing Hill. They're the same people who call Hundley the "gum chewer". Hill was their Great White Hope.

Red Foreman's picture

Usually I agree with you. However, IMO, Hill proved he was the better qb by his performance. Granted, it was preseason.

dobber's picture

I've made that argument (the special teams one) in the past and Kirk (now banned, I believe) had a fit. I agree with you: if Hill was really viewed as the heir apparent to NOs surefire HOF QB (as Kirk claimed), you're not going to expose him on ST...especially with his injury history. I'll admit to being wrong: I thought sure that NO would draft a QB this year with the rich, deep class of prospects (which would all but prove HIll's not the guy), but it didn't happen.

As for the other part of the argument, I don't think it's that case at all. I think it was the fantasy world that was built watching Taysom Hill being forced to improvise and play street ball in a couple preseason games last year behind gosh-awful OL play. He had really good measurables (which people also fall in love with) and looked like a dynamo at times, but never really played within the offense. People had a camp crush on the guy.

It happens every year with someone (or multiple someones)...McCaffrey was another example last year. What happened to him? He bounced around practice squads and spent, I think, two games active with Jacksonville. He's trying to catch on with SF right now, and that's after the Packers resigned him and let him go. Kumerow is falling into that category right now. I think he's going to stick, but if he gets cut? The wolves will howl...but I hope people will watch to see what happens to him after before getting too uptight.

PAPackerbacker's picture

It's only one game but I liked the play of Tim Boyle a little more than Hundley or Kiser. Boyle seemed a little more crisp and accurate with his passes and appeared more comfortable. His timing was pretty good and he got rid of the ball quickly. He appeared to see the field and read the defense well. It's only one game but Boyle did much better than I thought he would. Kiser needs work but showed promise and Hundley looked good but he just couldn't get it done last year after spending 3 years learning the system. There's 3 more games before the regular season starts but I'm sure Rodgers will get some snaps in the last game or two. So it will be fun to watch the competition to see who will be the #2 guy. Will they keep a 3rd QB?

Jonathan Spader's picture

Did everyone already forget how good Hundley looked in his 1st preseason action? If Rodgers goes down Boyle, Hundley, and Kizer won't save the Packers season. All 3 looked good Thursday night 2 out of the 3 had a rough year last year.

Having a QB competition is a good thing. Competition breeds excellence. Let's just enjoy the camp QB battle and pray for Rodger's health. If we can get through preseason without more injuries and go through the regular season with a healthy Rodgers the Packers will be dangerous.

Handsback's picture

Well said and agree 100%. At the end of camp the coaches will have plenty to see and can make the decision then.

Bearmeat's picture

Right. If Rodgers goes down for any extended time, I'll still watch and still root for the team to win, because I'm a Packers fan.

But I'm also a realist. If ARod is hurt for any extended action, the season goes in the tank.

Coldworld's picture

True. On that logic, Kizer’s youth, contract and upside plus Boyle would be a better long term strategy.

Only if Hundley could promise real victories against decent teams would my view change. He has been decent in non pressured situations (pre season and when rank underdog away last year). Big leap to bet on him changing in that regard over the off season.

Tundraboy's picture

Same here.

dobber's picture

I agree, too. I think that Hundley would have to be far and away better than either other player to keep his spot on the will be a PR move as much as anything else. There aren't many people who would welcome #7 as the backup come September.

Tarynfor12's picture

" But I'm also a realist."


Bearmeat's picture

Oh, Taryn. You are so salty. I mean, silly. :P

croatpackfan's picture

Taryn is troll!

Archie's picture

I liked Boyle the best as well. But we still have a ways to go before we start cutting/trading players.

Coldworld's picture

Was very impressed by Boyle but he needs more work. He is still very raw and showed it, but I think there is a chance he could be a true prospect.

dobber's picture

Boyle isn't the same caliber athlete as Kizer or Hundley, and the need to figure (or feature) those two out in the preseason married to getting #12 enough snaps to be comfortable means that Boyle likely won't get many more snaps until the last preseason game. I think they'll be able to get him onto the practice squad if they choose to, and that might be the best place for him.

cheesycowboy's picture

Brett will never get the tap dancing out of his delivery if he hasn't by now. A fatal flaw for QBs. FAS.
Fred Astaire Syndrome.

Guam's picture

I'm with Bearmeat on Hundley - you don't suddenly become a better player in your fourth year. Unfortunately Hundley probably has no trade value whatsoever.

I like Boyle but I doubt McCarthy is ready to turnover the Packer's backup spot to a guy who played mediocre football at UConn and EKU and has zero pro experience. Hopefully the Packers can smuggle him onto the PS.

That leaves Kizer as our backup QB. I hope he plays very well during the rest of the Packer's preseason.

Bearmeat's picture

I wouldn't put it past MM to keep both Kizer and Hundley. Sunk cost theory in full throated display with MM here.

OldTimer's picture

I would love it if Hundley showed up enough to actually be wanted somewhere else. By the end of last year I think most of us would have been happy to trade him for a hamburger. I know Hundley had better stats than Kizer, but I thought Kizer was throwing with faster reads and better velocity. In the long run he is going to be an upgrade. I hope Boyle can stick around on the practice squad at least. Love his passion for the game, his steadiness in the pocket and his long ball. If anything happens to Rodgers, I think we could still competei if everyone else stays standing.We have speed to stretch the field, players with a lot of catch radius over the middle, and I think our running game is better also. The new punter should net us better field position overall as well. A long way to go before we get down to 53, but the potential roster is looking better to me! Go Pack, Go!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Boyle won't see the Practice Squad. Release him and he's gone. If we want to keep him, it will have to be on the 53.

I'd keep him.

dobber's picture

After that one game, I don't think there's enough to make him much of a target. There are a lot of scrub QBs who will make good on limited reps against 4th stringers in the preseason. If he strings a couple hot hand performances together, that's a different matter.

That said, I like his developmental upside in combination with a guy who can play now (Kizer). Do I think Boyle will ever be much more than an average backup? Probably not. But the Packers didn't even have that last year.

4EVER's picture

Agreed! His footwork and awareness is real, efficient and seemingly polished verses the second and third options on the depth chart. And how about that live arm, he's tall in the pocket, there's a lot there to be excited about.

Jonathan Spader's picture

How is our running game better than 2017? We had a decent run game last year and once Rodgers went down we were still exposed and had a losing season. The only way we can compete Rodgerless is if Pettine can turn around our defense his 1st year as DC.

OldTimer's picture

Williams and Jones aren't rookies any more. They have NFL experience now and both are back bigger and stronger. Montgomery is healthy again as well. The deep ball has to be respected, so opponents can't stack the box as much. We also have tight ends that will change coverages and improve the blocking. All of this should improve our running game. I want Rodgers healthy all the way, but I still think we are a better team offensively and defensively than we were last year, and can find ways to win if we lose him again.

Jonathan Spader's picture

RBs don't normally take the 2nd year leap the way other positions do. Normally you see better pass protection because that's something they didn't work on in college. TY is healthy for now which is definately a bonus. The deep ball does not need to be respected until someone like MVS shows that we have a deep threat. Lewis is an upgrade over he who shall not be named at TE when it comes to blocking.

I think we will be better on both offense and defense than last year for different reasons. Replacing Capers with Pettine and the return of Philbin. If Rodgers goes down in 2018 I don't see the Packers making the playoffs. We might be there in 2019 if the coaching changes improve the offense and defense and if Kizer can develop into a serviceable backup.

Nononsense's picture

I do believe players can get better from one year to the next even after 3 years. By all accounts Rodgers was pretty dismal his first couple years here.

His first year starting he went 6-10 after a 13-3 season with Favre.

I'm not saying Hundley is any better than last year but he is already playing better in the preseason than he did last year. I don't want to see him make the team as I think the other 2 have higher ceilings. Still hope he plays lights out and gets somebody to pony up a pick for him.

Coldworld's picture

As has been noted, he played well in his first preseason. He has 4 years in the system and I think we need to remember that he has an advantage over the others as a result.

Also remember that he had trouble reading the field and with pocket awareness. The latter showed up on Thursday whereas Kizer seemed much more aware. None of the QBs faced anything other than vanilla coverage and blitzing, which would tend to paper over such weaknesses.

Slim11's picture

There is one big difference between Rodgers and Hundley when comparing their third seasons.

In his third season, Rodgers replaced Favre after he was injured against the Cowboys and kept the Packers very close. This game was in Dallas and could have gone either way. Going into the following season, the team had confidence in Rodgers. That's the game I knew he was going to be a good starting QB.

I didn't see that kind of game from Hundley at all last season. He put up some good numbers against the Steelers but not in Green Bay. A starting QB should be much more comfortable on his home field. Hundley had great numbers in his first and third preseasons and appears to be on his way to another good preseason. It's not carrying over into the regular season for Hundley.

Kizer and Boyle looked to be more comfortable on the field.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No. In 2008, we were 5th in the NFL in points scored per game with 26.2 and 4th at 27.2 pts/gm in 2007. Not that significant of a difference.
Favre’s passer rating was 95.7 in 2007 and AR’s was 93.8. Not too significant.

We were 23rd in points allowed on defense in 2008 at 23.8 pts/game and 6th in 2007 (18.2 pts/gm). 5.6 points per game more is a defensive collapse, which is why the DC got fired. This explains our record dropping from 13-3 to 6-10.

ReaganRulz's picture

Just got done watching the replay of the Packer game. I agree that Boyle looked pretty good and confident....but it was against lesser talent on the Tennessee defense. I just wonder if the mistake of cutting T. Hill last year will make the Packers think a little harder in keeping a rookie qb with some upside. Can’t wait to see how it all shakes out after the pre-season games.

ReaganRulz's picture

Just got done watching the replay of the Packer game. I agree that Boyle looked pretty good and confident....but it was against lesser talent on the Tennessee defense. I just wonder if the mistake of cutting T. Hill last year will make the Packers think a little harder in keeping a rookie qb with some upside. Can’t wait to see how it all shakes out after the pre-season games.

Couch Cleats's picture

I think Hundley has had enough time and coaching for us to know what his ceiling is. At this point in AR's career, I'm all for keeping the backup with the most upside every year in hopes that we might stumble upon a QB with legitimate starting ability and maybe find our version of Jimmy G.

For this reason, I was really mad that they got rid of Hill last year. It's so hard to get a high enough pick to get a starting QB. It seems more likely to get someone later in the draft that was overlooked (like Brady was).

Keep the guy with the most upside every camp even if it's a new guy every year. After only one game so far, my vote is for keeping Boyle on the team whether they keep 2 or 3 QB's. He's big, great arm and looks comfortable in the pocket = UPSIDE.

Besides, what was the famous quote - "Fellas, if QB1 goes down we're Fu*ked. And we don't practice Fu*ked."

I'm all for making a commitment to develop a young back-up as soon as we get one that looks like he has starter potential. I love Brett Hundley the person, but I don't see him as an NFL starter.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Taysom Hill will be 28 in 12 days. Rodgers plans on playing until he's 40. If we can assume Rodgers plays at a high level for the next 5 years Hill wouldn't have gotten a chance to start for 4 or 5 years. That would put him at 32 or 33.

I liked his athleticism and seemed like a likeable guy. I just think he has a better opportunity with the Saints were Drew Brees only has a year to 3 left. I don't see Hill getting us to the playoffs in 2017 if he was in for Hundley. All I do at this point is watch Hill in preseason with the Saints.

Since '61's picture

I'm not buying it with Hundley. We've seen this movie before. Hundley has looked good during the preseason and he still flopped in the games that count after 3 years in the system. I hope that we never need to see him in a real game again.

As for Taysom Hill, I don't understand why it was a mistake to release him. It's not like the Packers released Johnny Unitas. Hill is just another guy who looked good in preseason but has yet to take a snap in a real NFL game. With the Saints he is 3rd on their depth chart behind Brees and Tom Savage.

Against the Jags on Thursday he started the 2nd half, went 8/9 for 72 yards against Jag scrubs and ran 7 times for 52 yards and a TD. He ran for almost as many yards as he threw for. Not exactly a pocket presence. His completions were all quick/short throws.

Hill has a better chance of contributing on STs than he does as a QB. If he ever actually gets in an NFL game at QB then we can discuss this allegedly dreadful mistake the Packers made by releasing him. As of now releasing Hill is nowhere close to the mistake the Steelers made when they released Johnny Unitas. Thanks, Since '61

PatrickGB's picture

I think he must have spit out his gum and did not hesitate as much as he had in the past. I am in a wait and see mode. I really want to see him play well! Hopefully for someone else...

4thand10's picture

“For me this year though, it’s the anticipation, it’s the understanding, it’s the game slowing down so things are a lot easier,” Kizer said, who finished 9-for-14 with 108 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 81.9. “I just feel calmer back there.”

“Hundley couldn’t be more right. He looked different back there. He didn’t show off his happy feet which made the Lambeau Field faithful groan last year whenever he chopped his feet in the pocket, unsure of his next move.“

Did we get names mixed up. On that note, I didn’t see enough difference between all three to pick as a back up. I will say as long as Hundley has been in the system...he should be playing better.

DraftHobbyist's picture

I'm going to be waiting before making decisions on Kizer. Remember, this was his first game in this system. Lets give the man some time. If Kizer in his first game looks about as good as Hundley does after three years, I think that says something good for the future of Kizer, but we'll see.

fastmoving's picture

This time a have to agree with Corey. Huntley looked much better.
And he looked better than Kizer an Boyle. but there is a lot of preseason left.

Letting Hill go was no mistake. Nothing special, too old. Boyel is ok for the PS and nobody will pick him up there, thats a sure thing

billybobton's picture

Sometimes it is as if actually watching a play simply can not be done prior to writing about it. BH did not make a perfect throw to adams. Seriously go watch what you are writing about and give credit where it is due. The ball was late, soft, to high and not deep enough as well as inaccurate in terms of the sideline/middle of the field.

ADAMS made as good a play as a WR can make. he dipped inside, set up the CB, then adams moved back OUTSIDE and slowed down for the ball. A decent throw was a TD. Please it is not that tough to watch. And it is not so difficult to credit adams for an outstanding move set. It could not have been done better.

A Pickled Packer's picture

I think they'll be keeping Keiser no matter how well the other 2 do. They didn't make that trade with the Brown's just to chuck him in the end. It would come off as a bad trade trade and I don't think Gutenkunst would like to see his first trade as a GM show any ineptitude in judgement. The front office has to look competent in the early going. So for me it's Keizer's position to lose.

Thebearsstillsuck's picture

Hundley has not had a problem looking good in the preseason. I think he led the NFL in pre-season passer rating as a rookie. That's where all the ridiculous "we can't take anything less than a 2nd rounder for Hundley" talk started from. Playing good in a pre-season game against a rookie head coach doesn't mean he's turned the corner. He threw a great pass to a really good wide receiver. But it's going to take a whole lot more than that to say he's 2.0

dobber's picture

Maybe he meant to finish the title with "....on a scale of 1 to 5".

LambeauPlain's picture

Let Chuckie and McKenzie get the highest of the Pack's 2019 first rounders and their choice of any of the Packer backup QBs for Mack.

May not be enough, though. But Chuckie does like QB grooming.

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