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Cory's Corner: Mike McCarthy is the QB guru

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Cory's Corner: Mike McCarthy is the QB guru

Scott Tolzien wasn’t going to be the backup quarterback in Green Bay next year.

Brett Hundley has asserted himself and is more than ready to take the reins if and when Aaron Rodgers misses a few games.

But for all the places to go…Indianapolis? I never thought Tolzien would be a shoo-in starter, but I figured he would go to a place where he would get a chance to compete for the job.

That’s not happening when you’ve got a franchise player like Andrew Luck. So now all Tolzien can live up to is former Badgers quarterback Jim Sorgi who backed up Peyton Manning for six years.

So the question is, who exactly is Hundley? He turns 23 this summer and looked very impressive in his rookie season. His athleticism, throwing ability and arm strength have all surprised folks that were unsure about how the fifth-rounder would translate at the pro level.

Granted, it was preseason, but Hundley is another in a long line of Packers’ backups that will be a starter elsewhere. At first blush, he looks like a cross between Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick — but with better pocket awareness and actual decision-making.

So when Hundley becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019, it’s unlikely that the Packers will be able to keep him. And that’s not all bad, because it will open up a spot for the guy that may follow in Rodgers’ huge shoes.

Coach Mike McCarthy has taken a lot of heat over the years, but you cannot argue how much talent he squeezes from the quarterback position. He flipped seventh rounder Matt Flynn into a serviceable backup and got him a huge payday. And now he just repeated the same with Tolzien, an undrafted free agent.

Those names aren’t as sexy as Mark Brunell, Ty Detmer or even Kurt Warner who had a cup of coffee in Green Bay.

But with Tolzien’s signing, McCarthy’s quarterback school just got an accreditation. Oh, and McCarthy also did something that Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman could not do. He reined in future Hall of Famer Brett Favre and got him to buy in.

And don’t get too comfortable with Hundley — because if everything goes according to plan, he’s not staying very long.  


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 (23) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

croatpackfan's picture

Lets hope you are right! For Brett!

MarkinMadison's picture

#12 talks right now like he'll play until he is 45, but with the money these guys are making, and the beatings their bodies are taking, nothing is a sure thing anymore. Brent Hundley's not staying very long? Too soon to tell.

Nick Perry's picture

I agree. I'd love to see Rodgers play into his late 30's (38, 39) effectively but he can't take a beating like he did last season or earlier in his career. He's also been nicked up the last few seasons with 2013 obviously being the worse. I think his knee injury last year really affected Rodgers last year.

2010 .. 2 Concussions
2013 .. Collarbone
2014 .. Calf
2015 .. Knee

With all that said, no matter what we have Hundley for 3 more years, or if they decide to trade him maybe less. I'm with Mark on this, too soon to tell. I remember just a few seasons ago Hundley was talked about as a 1st round prospect, he's a talented guy and I like him right where he is, learning from the best.

4thand1's picture

Tolzien and his agent were very smart. He went to a team where he will get a chance to stay on a roster. If he stayed in GB he would have been demoted to #3 and possibly cut. Can't wait to see how Hundley plays this pre-season. He'll get a lot of reps.

calabasa's picture

So let's develop Hundley and trade him in 2 years for a high pick.

Or..... let him sign somewhere else and pray for a compensatory pick.

Rossonero's picture

Hundley won't stay past 2019, but I hope they turn him into a 4th round draft pick at least.

calabasa's picture

That's what I was getting at- if he keeps trending up, I'd love to see some aggression in getting some value in exchange for him. More than a compensatory, but trading him for someone/thing before he walks. Dubious.

Tundraboy's picture

I think Hundley will be here a while. Could turn out to be valuable backup as Rodgers ages and if he does really improve he could be traded for a higher pick than he was drafted at. Maybe we should draft a 5,6 or 7th rounder every year, coach him up and sell high.Though maybe doubtful MM is around that long if we don't get to or win a SB in the next few years

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

If Hundley continues to impress, surely GB will tender him after 3 years, and either recoup their 5th rd pick or put the higher tender on him and get a 2nd. Or if Hundley gets some meaningful NFL game action and impresses, the trade scenario comes into play. There is always the pretty small chance that Hundley becomes out starting QB sometime in the future. There is also the chance that he gets no better than he was last preseason. Overall, I would guess that he will be a decent asset to GB.

barutanseijin's picture

There's no telling what might happen. Rodgers could get injured in some more or less permanent way, or he could retire -- he doesn't seem to be a guy for whom football is everything. Hundley could end up as starting

holmesmd's picture

I'm trying to figure out why everyone is writing this kid off as trade bait? A bit premature don't you think? Kid looked pretty damn good in preseason last year if you ask me. Let's see how it all plays out. He was drafted for a reason and that reason wasn't to develop him to give to another team unless the price is right and it makes sense.

Tundraboy's picture

I hope he stays as well. Did not understand why as soon as he was drafted that the thought of trading him was brought up. Let's see what he can do. We have had so many stiffs that we drafted in the past thinking we didn't need a QB with Rodgers.

Point Packer's picture

Who cares. Backups in this league are largely worthless. Once your starting QB goes down, the chances of winning are minimal. This conversation is pointless.

marpag1's picture

Didn't Denver trot out their backup a few times this year? They won the Super Bowl if I recall...

RCPackerFan's picture

I brought this up the other day, but if in the next 2 preseasons if Hundley keeps improving and impressing, what will his trade value be?

With the way some teams are desperate to find a starting QB, some team will likely overpay for a QB that has shown great potential.
Texans just signed Osweiler to a deal that will pay him more then Brady and Rodgers over the next few years. Osweiler had 7 career starts. If that doesn't show that teams overpay, nothing does.

4thand1's picture

Teams make dumb deals all the time. We've seen this with unproven QB's over and over. Then you have teams that will put an old proven QB out there even if he needs a walker. We have no idea how lucky we are to have 20+ plus years of great QB play.

RCPackerFan's picture

Can't agree more.

One player to kind of watch in the next year or so is Jimmy Garoppolo.

If the Patriots were to trade him it could set a benchmark of what to expect the Packers to get for Hundley.

Tundraboy's picture

Yes Houston set a new high water mark for overpaying. Just an absurd contract even though they did not have much choice. Now or never for them and the draft wasnt go to work for them.

RCPackerFan's picture

Its nuts. really is.
See I think they had a choice, but they were desperate. Desperate teams do desperate things.

If I was the GM of the Texans I would still go and draft a QB fairly high. One that could be developed into a starter. First round is probably not going to happen but if they can get one in the 2nd-4th round to develop in case Brock doesn't work out, they may have covered themselves.

Evan's picture

What was the last time a backup QB on his rookie deal was traded for anything of substance?

I tend to think this whole "draft a young backup QB, groom him, then trade him" is more myth than reality. Ron Wolf did it a few times in the 90s but I can't even think of the last time it happened.

I guess the Pats trading Ryan Mallett to the Texans in 2014? All they got was a conditional 7th round pick. I think that's a realistic comparison.

The same thing happened toward the end of Flynn's rookie contract. Everyone kept speculating about what the Packers could get for him. Turns out: nothing.

RCPackerFan's picture

Aaron Brooks?

It doesn't happen often. To me I draft a QB to keep, and if you get a substantial offer, you take it if you have a good contingency plan.

My point on it is, if teams are willing to overpay for players (aka Texans and Brock Osweiler), what would they be willing to give up for a guy who shows a lot of promise?

One player to keep an eye on could be Jimmy Garoppolo. I think next year will be his last year with New England. If they were to trade him and get really good value it could set a bar for Hundley in a few years (if they chose to trade him).

Evan's picture

Brooks was traded 16 years ago.

There is a big difference between forking over a stupid contract and forking over a stupid contract AND a valuable draft pick (by valuable I mean mid-round)j.

I don't know why Garoppolo would fetch any more than Mallett did.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, he is the last one that I really remember.

Yeah, there is a big difference. But desperate teams will do desperate things.
I don't know how much Ryan Mallet was really sought after. Might not necessarily be a fair comparison.
One thing I would be almost certain about though. If a team is willing to trade for Hundley in 3 years or whatever, it will most likely be the Texans. They seem to go after other teams players every 2-3 years.

yeah, I don't know if he will or not. I heard this weekend on a sports talk show I listened to that he is a player that could have some big trade value come next year.
Well I thought if he does get traded, that would set a mark for what the Packers could expect to get for Hundley if everything worked out.

This is a lot of speculating and projecting. A lot would have to go into it for something to happen. For now I'm just happy with what I saw from Hundley last year, and looking forward to see his development come preseason.

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