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Even with Aaron Rodgers, Packers Have Intrigue at Quarterback

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Even with Aaron Rodgers, Packers Have Intrigue at Quarterback

The Green Bay Packers are obviously set at quarterback, now and well into the future with Aaron Rodgers. However, for a number of reasons, the position still offers plenty of intrigue with training camp looming.

For years, the Packers have tried to keep a minimum number of quarterbacks and if they could get away with it, the final 53-man roster would only include two. But the more you think about it, the more difficult it will be the for the organization to settle for two signal callers in 2017.

Part of that has to do with the trade interest surrounding top backup Brett Hundley.

While the Packers have decided to keep Hundley for 2017, there were rumors of a possible trade during the 2017 NFL draft. The talk got most serious on Day 2, but a deal never materialized. 

Therefore, Hundley is going to be closely watched, not just by the Packers, but by quarterback needy teams throughout the NFL.

The preseason will serve as an audition for Hundley, who has just a few regular-season snaps under his belt for teams to scout from. If he can improve and turn heads even more, it’s likely he’s traded next offseason, which brings me to another point, is the next backup, presumably the one replacing Hundley, currently on the roster?

Joe Callahan, who was a training camp sensation a season ago, is the most likely candidate to assume that role. He was good enough to earn a roster a spot in 2016 and if he has a good camp, there’s a good chance he will be on the final 53 again.

If Hundley is going to be traded next spring, it makes sense for Green Bay to ponder his replacement and Callahan is the obvious choice. The only possible challenge may come from rookie quarterback Taysom Hill, out of BYU, and even that feels like a long shot.

Hill feels like practice squad material at best, although Callahan was held in similar regard at this time last year, so you never really know. 

But that begs another question, do the Packers have the same kind of faith in Callahan, that they do in Hundley? Right now, they answer would have to be no. But by late August, it could be yes.

The point is, even though there is very little doubt about who the Packers starting quarterback will be going forward, when it comes to who the backup will be, especially in 2018 and beyond, there might be just as many questions, as there are answers.

And that's why, despite quarterback being settled at the top of the depth chart, there is still plenty of intrigue to sift though as training camp approaches.


Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Handsback's picture

In Green Bay the 2nd string QB will never replace ARod. You can hope he is good enough to win a few games and keep the team upright intil Rodgers returns. I would hope the Packer's have a couple of guys who can do that so they could trade one and keep the other.

ejr450's picture

I think that's the case for 2nd string QBs everywhere (other than the Jets...). I think it was Parcells that said the QB2 is good enough to win you 3 games and bad enough to lose you 3 games. Something like that.

Anyway, if all goes according to plan, Hundley turns into a 3rd round pick next spring and Joe Callahan becomes the next Matt Flynn. Nothing special, but a guy who knows what to do, when to do it, and hangs around for the remainder of A-Rod's championship window.

And then when they finally draft a replacement guy, hopefully Joe's made enough money that he's ok with finding a new home...

Mr.Bigg's picture

The filling of time blather that happens with inexperienced "Talkers" on talk shows should be taken as it is....a quick response to interactions from hosts that are filling time.

Yes, Yes, Yes...I wrote that and as I wrote that it sure seemed intelligent...

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture


Handsback's picture


Anderson44's picture

Well stated!! I guess.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

The key is not how Callahan and Hill look this summer, so much as how our coaches project they'll look by next summer. Hundley's presence this season allows for much greater emphasis on developing the best talent.

Hill is a physical marvel who may show enough to promise big things in 2018. Callahan is physically limited, but he grossly outplayed Hundley last summer (yes, Hundley was hurt).

This article is spot on. The Hill-Callahan battle will be one to watch in camp. And having another season of Hundley alters what coaches will be looking for.

Ferrari Driver's picture

In today's NFL, if the starting QB goes down for the season, the team can look forward to next year.

The closest thing to a backup quarterback who is starter quality lies with the Patriots; the rest of us are essentially out of the run for the Lombardi Trophy.

I lived through the 70's and 80's when our teams sucked, but I must admit Lynn Dickey was pretty darn good playing future HOF receiver James Loften, coupled with a God awful defense.

Bottom line:
I lean towards keeping one backup on the roster who may only have to fill in for not more than three games if Rodgers gets injured. If we can get a 2nd round draft choice for Hundley before the deadline, I recommend a trade. Without Aaron Rodgers in the lineup, our team becomes very ordinary.

packfan44's picture

Amen to that!

Since '61's picture

To me, the intrigue is not who is/are the backup QBs but what can they actually do in a real game? Hundley has shown the most potential, but again, only during meaningless pre-season action. Callahan has shown us that he can scamper around the field, hurl the ball aimlessly downfield during the preseason and be cut from teams with rosters no where close to the Packers roster. At this point Hill is nothing but a ?, even for the preseason. This leads me to the conclusion where I prefer that we never get to learn about any of these QBs because Rodgers has another season where he never misses a snap unless we're 3 or 4 scores ahead with less than 10 minutes to play. If we can get a 3 or 4th round pick for Hundley fine. We'll see what Hill can do during the preseason. If he looks decent, keep him and chuck Callahan. Otherwise we go with Hundley as QB2 and Callahan on the PS. Best move is to build a force field around Aaron Rodgers. Thanks, Since '61

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

1. Do we keep 2 or 3 QBs on the 53?
2. If 3, Hill or Callahan?
3. If 2, do we keep 2 on the PS?
4. If 1 on the PS, which one?
5. Should we trade Hundley?
6. If so, when, and what should we get?
7. Can Hundley, Callahan, or Hill win NFL games in 2017 or 2018?

Answering question 7 correctly answers in large part the other questions. I hope Hundley looks like he can win in the NFL, and if Callahan or Hill look like they could develop into that kind of QB in time for 2018, great. If one looks like a capable back-up for 2017, that leads to questions.

If Callahan and Hill don't look good, the better looking QB (presumably one of these two but conceivably someone from another team) goes on the PS, and the 2nd one, well that depends on how well he played and how the coaches feel about that player.

If Hill or Callahan lights it up during the preseason, we might have to consider keeping 3 on the 53. I don't want to do that, but it is a good problem to have and might be necessary. I have a feeling that stashing even potential back-up QB prospects on the PS will get progressively more difficult as time goes by. Trading Hundley: that's been discussed enough.

hodge555's picture

IMHO I think we'll go with 2 QB's on the 53 roster, Rodgers and Hundley, and try for Callahan on the PS (which could be possible as he's already been to 2 other NFL teams and came back so hopefully there will be less interest in him this time around). Hill is a 26yr rookie so unless he's a superstar in preseason he'll be a PS candidate at best.

teresinski6's picture

If #1 is hurt early in the season, without Hundley we'll be in a world of #hit, worry about a trade after the season is over, if successful. Then all these comments are useless, to many coaches here making comments,

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