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DeShone Kizer's improved mechanics could land Packers' No. 2 QB job

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DeShone Kizer's improved mechanics could land Packers' No. 2 QB job

-- Two minicamp practices are in the books, and at this point, there still isn't much room to make any judgment calls on who's going to be what in 2018 -- save that for training camp.

With 16 veterans excused from the Green Bay Packers' three-day stretch of mandatory minicamp this week, that also leaves more reps on the field for players with five or fewer years of experience under their belts.

Among those veterans was quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who will be entering his 14th NFL season, and his 11th as a starter. That's good news for his backups trying to not only win position battles, but in the undrafted Tim Boyle's case, a roster spot.

But all eyes have been on the familiarized Brett Hundley and newly-acquired DeShone Kizer, who the Packers snatched from the Cleveland Browns in a trade back in March. Hundley, the presumed backup, has the obvious edge between the two simply due to his accustomed nature with the Packers' offense.

Kizer, entering just his second season in the league as opposed to Hundley entering his fourth, is still adapting amidst a transition that could end up helping his career flourish.

"The confidence is here now," Kizer said on Wednesday after the Packers' second minicamp practice. "Now it's about going out and showing that I can be a consistent quarterback. It's kind of universally known that the ability is there and the potential is there, but now it's about going out every day, every rep, and proving myself."

The Packers place a significant emphasis on footwork with their developing quarterbacks, as was the case when Rodgers entered coach Mike McCarthy's "Quarterback school" in 2006.

Rodgers' mechanics -- from ball placement, shoulder placement, release point and hand-eye coordination -- were molded into a system that made Rodgers nearly unrecognizable by 2008 in comparison to when he was first drafted out of Cal in 2005.

If the Packers play their cards right, they're hoping for similar results with Kizer. Just three months into his tenure in Green Bay, his steady improvement has already been well-documented.

"There's still a couple of things -- you get into the intricacies of the situational game that you might get a couple plays here and there that you might have to think through, but for the most part as far s the base gameplan would go, I think I'm pretty comfortable with what's going on.

"Here, it’s geared towards a more athletic quarterback than in my past systems in a sense that they allow Aaron to make adjustments within his drop through the drop rather than at the top of the drop, which is a new situation for me. I’m starting to gain some confidence with it."

Kizer started minicamp red-hot, more notably connecting with receiver Jake Kumerow for a 44-yard over-the-shoulder completion in the two-minute drill. He also hit receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, this year's No. 207 overall pick, for a deep completion.

In his second practice on Wednesday, however, Kizer went 0-for-7 in the two-minute drill, hovering more so in the vicinity of freezing.

The reps are what count for Kizer, who went from having the remarkably poor 0-15 record of the 2017 Browns under his watch associated with his name to learning behind one of the best quarterbacks ever.

Capitalizing on a series of opportunities and improving as a player all starts in practice, and it should be just enough to erase those demons from memory.

"When you only get a few reps at practice as opposed to going out there and running a practice last year, you try to prove yourself in every opportunity you get," Kizer said.

"You take what's given, you try to get as many completions as you can, but when you can prove that you can have some chunk plays and extend plays and push the ball 45-plus yards down the field on a given play, I think it allows you to want to once again prove yourself, who you are and what you can do."


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

The TKstinator's picture

Didn’t he play with St. Brown at Notre Dame?

Bearmeat's picture


D Ernie's picture

Yes and not well. Way to many turnovers.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Is this the same person who used to post a lot? Shows just 4 comments so far on CHTV. Either the username is close or my memory is bad. Wasn't it Imma?

Community Guy's picture

"In his second practice on Wednesday, however, Kizer went 0-for-7 in the two-minute drill, hovering more so in the vicinity of freezing." yikes.. hope this was his worst day.. i am sure the learning curve for Kizer is very steep right now..

given their common history, at some point, Kizer and St. Brown should start consistently hooking up.

realitybytez's picture

hard to imagine how he could get much worse than 0 for 7. i guess he could throw seven interceptions.

D Ernie's picture

Give him a shot I'm sure your right

4thand1's picture

His receivers dropped all 7 passes.

Tarynfor12's picture

If Kizer were to lose to Hundley,who looked pathetic after 3 highly regarded years, ending in tears, of teaching from a proclaimed and self endorsed proclaimed teacher, it could be deemed that Kizer isn't worthy of an entrance exam to that heralded school for QB's.

croatpackfan's picture

I would like to know your record in developing QB, as you are giving very resolute evaluation of MIke McCarthy. I supose you have huge knowledge in the field...

The TKstinator's picture

The field is 53 and a half yards wide by 100 yards long. But if you include each end zone, it’s 53.5 X 120.
That’s my knowledge of the huge field, er...?

Spock's picture

TK, You must be a farmer as it's obvious you are 'a man out standing in his field'. Well done.

The TKstinator's picture

Heh heh
Next I’ll convert it to acres.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It's not far away from 1 acre.

The TKstinator's picture

How about in metric acres?

dobber's picture


Demon's picture

Im guessing you were one of the in Ted we trust crowd. You seem to be one of the "if you cant do a better job be quiet" mindset Maybe that works over there in a former part of the Soviet Union but, it doesnt fly in the USA. Here we have freedom of speech and self expression.

I dont need to step in a big steaming pile to know i wouldnt like the outcome.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Yes, JS. Note that Croat's self-expression doesn't reach the merits. His reply is about Taryn's competence to form an opinion.

[Edit - done while ALP wrote his comment.] As someone who doesn't much like MM, there appears to me to be enough evidence that suggests MM is an effective teacher of QBs. MM (or possibly Clements/staff perhaps in conjunction with MM) reined in and improved Favre, appears to have changed AR's mechanics, and developed Matt Flynn. Also on MM's resume are Rich Gannon, Elvis Grbac, Aaron Brooks, and MM spent a year as Alex Smith's OC, a year as QB coach in 1999 of Favre and Brooks. I have no credentials to form that opinion, however.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Great comment, Tornado!

I like Croat--always have--but these "Our leaders must know best" posts from some people get old. They forget that here in America, we like holding authority to account.

Starr2Max's picture

When the coaching staff is making changes to his mechanics, you have to expect rough patches. Probably doing more thinking about correcting his throwing than usual. I give him a pass for now.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

100% agree.

4thand1's picture

I changed my mechanic, he knew nothing about my car.

dobber's picture

But could he throw a football?

The TKstinator's picture

Give him a pass and find out.

Handsback's picture

Hundley always looked good in practice according the camp reports. His game playing performance left a lot to desire. Kizer is changing the way he has thrown a pass all his life. This will take time. It took Rodgers some time (Does anyone remember when he came into a Raven's game for Favre and how bad he looked?) Once a player can adapt to the new style of throwing...he will start to have the confidence to make those impossible throws during a regular season game.
I think what we are hearing is that Kizer has picked up some of the nuances and has improved his accuracy and speed. What we haven't heard is that he's not doing it on a consistent basis yet.
I think Hundley resorted back to his college days of passing last season instead of trusting the system. Or he never was that good to begin with and only the press thought he was a good passer.

dobber's picture

Hopefully his mechanics will keep him from making bad decisions.

Spock's picture

Zachary, "Rodgers' mechanics -- from ball placement, shoulder placement, release point and hand-eye coordination -- were molded into a system that made Rodgers nearly unrecognizable by 2008 in comparison to when he was first drafted out of Cal in 2005." I think you meant to put "foot placement" where you put in " hand-eye coordination" as I doubt THAT was ever a problem for Rodgers, lol. Interesting article and should bring out a lot of the 'McCarthy never was a QB guru' crowd comments. :)

gr7070's picture

McCarthy never was a QB guru.

; )

Spock's picture



4thand1's picture

MM biggest move was moving on from a QB that didn't care about throwing int's, to a QB who despises it.

baldski's picture

I think in his last game at Cal, Rogers threw 13 straight completions. He definitely had talent to start with.

Spock's picture

****Urgent message to Lindsay Crawford***
"We've tracked the source of the cell phone, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! He's in there with you!"
It seems that St. Phillips has been luring post high school girls to locations where they can 'tear pieces' out of their hearts. We believe it's an illegal organ selling racket and they are stitching the pieces of hearts together to sell on the dark web.

Handsback's picture

I'm glad not to be Lidsay Crawford!

gr7070's picture

*Brett Hundley* will land Deshone Kizer the #2 QB position.

End of discussion.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

i've said all along that BOTH Kizer and Hundley led horrible teams last season.

Kizer has more talent, but Hundley also has a good arm and excellent feet. Last year's team was horrible at TE, weak at WR, lower tier at RB, and banged up at OL--and don't even get me started with a defense that demanded its QB outscore the world.

People just don't seem to understand the miracle Rodgers has performed in carrying this awful, Ted-disaster roster.

Point being, this team is LOADED at QB behind the starter. I could see us keeping both, with Hundley at #2 and Kizer developing at #3. I hate this because we desperately need extra roster spots for all our talent at WR and CB, but maybe we can make tough cuts like Allison or keeping only 5 CB's.

But you just don't release quality QB's.

stockholder's picture

Hundley stays. Kizer stays. Mays is gone. 1 FB only. (RIP)

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

That might work, though Mays could make a Year 2 leap, and RB's take quite a beating

I'd rather one of the rookie receivers surprise us with fast development and take Allison's role, freeing up a roster spot. But that's asking a lot.

4thand1's picture

If Kizer can't unseat Hundley as the backup, it was a total wasted trade.

stockholder's picture

No- the draft picks made that trade. Kizer has a better arm. But needs time to learn. I see MM keeping them both, and letting Hundley go at the end of his contract.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I disagree, 4th and 1. Hundley has 3 more years in this system. Besides, Kizer has more potential, and a couple more years left on his rookie deal than Randall.

And of course, moving up in Rounds 4 and 5 was pretty sweet.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The value of moving up was the third pick in the 5th round by the trade chart. Randall had one year and a fifth-year option left. Kizer has 3 years left (no fifth-year option as a 2nd round pick). IDK, we traded a first round pick who probably still had upside, who can start in the NFL while playing at an adequate level, and who apparently was a cancer in the locker room, for a 5th and Kizer.

On balance, JMO depending on how much of a cancer Randall was, Kizer has to become a decent backup QB.

cheesehead1's picture

As I and others have mentioned before, IMHO letting Taysom Hill go was a mistake.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Releasing Hill in hopes of bringing him back to the practice squad was unforgivably stupid, and I was shouting at Ted before the Saints even grabbed him.

This move was one of several final straws breaking the back of Ted's tenure. Everyone thinks the biggest and most overdue move was releasing Capers, but they're wrong--it was releasing Ted.

CJ Bauckham's picture

Hundley still perplexes me. His stat line Home vs. Away is like looking at two separate players.

At home he was so awful. And that's what everyone remembers. There's not really a way to defend it.

But away, he threw for 66% completions, 1000 yards and 9 tds vs. 5 ints. 90 something qbr. That's pretty good.

If I were McCarthy, I'd be wondering how to get the 'away' Hundley to show up at home. It's an interesting enigma.

Coldworld's picture

Hundley plays better the less pressure he feels. Away is better than home, better when underdog, better still when on the practice field. He also makes his best plays and throws instinctively in breakdown situations rather than by reading recievers and the field.

In short he is the absolute opposite of clutch. For that reason, even were he lights out in camp, one has to wonder if he would be better on a real game day. For me, if Kizer is close, let Hundley go, or, if he has a good camp, trade his last year (wishful thinking).

4thand1's picture

If Kizer isn't a gum chewer, give him the #2 QB job.

dobber's picture

His footwork (and pad level) will make him a more effective gum chewer.

DD's picture

Why are the Packers still keeping Hundley??

4thand1's picture

The only reason I see DD, is hopefully trade bait if he has his usual good pre season. I think he makes it to the final cut, maybe some team will be desperate and give us something.

DD's picture

If Kizer can't beat out Hundley we have a serious backup problem. If he can't, release both! Extra baggage with no returns. MM is a QB genius though, so this will help? Lmao.

D Ernie's picture

Hey with Kiser it's not the arm or throwing style that's the problem, it's what's between the ears that should concern mm. This guy has a propensity for tossing picks. Browns were tickled to dump him on us.
ND benched him often same reason.

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