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Scott Tolzien Named Packers Starting Quarterback for Giants Game

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Scott Tolzien Named Packers Starting Quarterback for Giants Game

At this point, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy hasn't even seen Scott Tolzien in action for what amounts to one entire game, but he already knows Tolzien gives his team the best chance to win Week 11 in New York to face the Giants.

McCarthy had already come to that conclusion at his post-game press conference in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that dropped the Packers' record to 5-4.

"I thought Scott Tolzien did as well as could be expected, just the one throw down in the end zone," said McCarthy referring to Tolzien's second-quarter interception. "He probably wishes he had that one back, but other than that he did a lot of good things. I'll tell you right now, Scott Tolzien will start against the New York Giants."

What's not being said is that Aaron Rodgers will miss a second consecutive game with a broken collarbone, even though the organization has not put a firm timeline on Rodgers' return.

Of course, Rodgers' absence is the reason Tolzien finds himself in the spotlight to begin with, playing the most-important position for one of the most-historic franchises in the NFL.

Just a week ago, Tolzien found himself on the Packers' practice squad, promoted after Rodgers was injured in the Packers' loss to the Bears, the first of two consecutive losses at Lambeau Field––the first that's happened since 2008.

Tolzien was thrust into action when Wallace injured his groin in just the Packers' first series of the game.

After completing 24 of 39 passes for 280 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, McCarthy made the call on Tolzien, not even waiting to see if Wallace will be healthy to play next week.

It's not as if Tolzien was perfect. His two interceptions were costly mistakes, but there's hope that he's the best backup option since Matt Flynn left in free agency following the 2011 season.

"You have to be impressed with his game management," said McCarthy. "You're talking about a young man that hasn't played, not only in a game with us, but hasn't had a lot of snaps at practice. His work has been really confined to the opponent squads. This week he was able to get some snaps with the first offense."

Since training camp, the Packers experimented with four other backups to Rodgers, and in just one game, Tolzien proved he had more promise than all of them.

For sake of comparison, here's the cumulative statistics for the other quarterbacks who have played for the Packers in 2013, including the preseason:

  • Vince Young––26 of 49 (53.1 percent) for 218 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions, 71.6 passer rating
  • Graham Harrell––23 of 42 (54.8 percent) for 169 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception, 54.6 passer rating
  • B.J. Coleman––14 of 34 (41.2 percent) for 128 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 49.6 passer rating
  • Seneca Wallace––16 of 24 (66.7 percent) for 139 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception, 64.4 passer rating

Tolzien proved to the quarterback most capable of pushing the ball downfield, averaging 7.2 yards per attempt, outpacing the other quarterbacks with Wallace coming the next closest at 5.8.

On Sunday, Tolzien displayed a rapport with wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, connecting eight times for 112 yards.

Whether Tolzien can keep the Packers afloat remains to be seen. But for better or worse, he's being tasked with such responsibility––at least as long as Rodgers remains out.

For his part, Tolzien seems to grasp the situation the Packers find themselves in.

"The bottom line is we just have to keep getting better," said Tolzien. "I think it's pretty simple, and you start by looking at yourself in the mirror. You always do that, and certainly there's a few plays you'd like to have back in the game. But I really appreciate the guys help out there, rallying around me. And my coaches as well this week helped me prepare to be ready to go."

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (31) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Longshanks's picture

Looks like TT knows what he's doing after all. He could be the next Tom Brady. I am excited about next week.


UP-Packer's picture

You really need to quit giving TT credit for 'discovering' Tolzien. Tolzien went undrafted by anyone in 2011. --- This means TT passed on him a total of ten times in that draft. TT also did not sign him after the draft as an UDFA.

TT got lucky with AR. Hopefully, he'll get lucky with Tolzien also.

Longshanks's picture

Never recall saying he discovered him. Just the fact he signed him over Flynn tells me alot about TT. Just last night most people thought Tolzein was a dog biscuit and everyone wanted someone else as a backup. TT once again proves everyone wrong including a writer of this board which I won't name publicly.


pooch's picture

Of course who else was available out there,Flynn bad arm don't touch

Phatgzus's picture

I like him as well, but "the next Tom Brady", cool the rngines bug time on that one. Even if he has that skill set he's likely going to be stuck behind someone better than Tom Brady for years.

Longshanks's picture

. "Even if he has that skill set he’s likely going to be stuck behind someone better than Tom Brady for years."

Yes, I agree!! That's why I am excited as hell because after Flynn left there was a small void at backup. Nobody knew if Wallace or Tolzein could be the guy except TT. Well, Tolzein showed enough in just one start with minimal experience and played damn good. He went on the offensive and was aggressive. What he did was almost unbelievable.

Aaron Rodgers looked like shit against Baltimore in his first time out there in 2005. Tolzein looked like he belonged out there. Hell, I am reaching for the stars on Tolzein. Why the hell not? People thought I was crazy when I said in 2007 that Aaron Rodgers is better than Brett Favre. I got lambasted but I was right!!

I see greatness in Tolzein and hope he stays on our bench until Rodgers retires. We need a backup that can actually win a game if Rodgers goes down. Next week we'll find out if he's up to that challenge. I say he is and so does McCarthy.


pooch's picture

A blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then,whats his excuse for the defense

Longshanks's picture

Teddy Tee does't give excuses damnit!! If he has problems he immediately goes to work on those areas and addresses them ASAP until those problems don't exist!!

Never underestimate the greatness that is Ted Thompson. Just in less than a week Ted has solved his backup qb problem with Tolzein even signing him to a unheard of contract for a practice squad guy. That is not luck, that is someone who sees big time potential in a player and didn't want to lose him. Remember, he did this before he even played yesterday. He will now be addressing the defense this week trust me.

People should honestly bow to Ted on the streets if they see him and say they are not even worthy to be in his presence he's that fucking good.


denniseckersley's picture

Can't wait for him to pull his hammy in the 1st quarter and watch Matt Flynn give it a go. Then Flynn can get all the snaps leading up to the Vikings game only to watch Dan Orlovsky try his luck against minnesota after Flynn's elbow flares up during the 2nd drive of the game...

Longshanks's picture

lol.. it does seem that way lately doesn't it. Let's hope that doesn't happen. What are the odds? Green Bay needs a break. I say this is the start of a new beginning for Green Bay. All bad luck with injuries are out of the way. From here on out it's smooth sailing and Tolzein will lead the way to two straight victories.


PacMan's picture

Um... who's the backup to Tolzein?

murphy's picture

According to the commentators yesterday, Kuhn was the emergency backup QB to the emergency backup QB.


Norman's picture

1st and 10: QB Sneak
2nd and 9: QB Sneak
3rd and 8: QB Sneak
4th and 7: Masthay punt

Bert's picture

Let's see what Tolzien can do and maybe as a minimum he can get some experience and become a very reliable backup to AR. That's a step forward if he works out. Given the injuries and the play of our defense I doubt if we can beat the Giants or Lions anyhow. Maybe the Vikes though. That one now looks like an even matchup.

Derek in CO's picture

I don't recall ever seeing MM so emotional and "pissed" as in last nights presser. He looked ready to fight someone.

D B H's picture

I liked it! About time someone gets pissed about the talent on defense not living up to expectations - whatever the cause.

I also got a kick out of his response to the question about the Jordy challenge. He was pissed!

4thand1's picture

What?!!?? Everyone's not screaming for M Flynn even if he has only 1 arm? When I hear shit like he got lucky with Rodgers and maybe he'll (TT) get lucky with Tolzien, my head wants to burst. Kinda sucks eh, when you expect 10 plus wins every year. That rotten TT and MM are really letting us down. Get a life, were spoiled as Packer fans and feel we've been delt an unfair blow. The one injury happened that couldn't. AARON RODGERS. If he gets back soon enough all the Packers have to do is make the playoffs. It still can happen, so don't go out looking for a tree limb and a rope.

Al's picture

I like the way you do bi-ness!!

Longshanks's picture

Excellent post 4th and 1. Yeah I agree. I bet most of the people complaining are under 30 years of age. Yes that age group in particular is absolutely spoiled. Not their fault knowing only Favre and Rodgers as their qb's but it's going to be tough for that age group to watch what guys watched in the 70's and 80's at qb and that is going on for the first time in a long long time as we speak. Me? I remember those days. Don't like em' and hate to go back to em' but I know all good things must come to an end.

The 70's and 80's hardened me. I can deal with another rough patch at qb. I try to be optimistic as I can. I really do think Tolzein could be special like a Tom Brady type. All he needs is some playing time. TT struck gold and we have a legit backup qb now. MM seems pretty excited too.


Derek in CO's picture

Age of reader doesn't matter. Anyone who watches enough football can spot bad QB play. It is on TT and MM to not figure out the backup situation until it was too late. Tolzien is serviceable as a backup, but he's not Tom Brady. 4th and 1s right about one thing, the one injury we couldn't afford happened, and it's gonna cost us a few games.

Ron from ct's picture

Did Scott Tolzien sign for more then 1 year ? Is he going to be a free agent next year I like him but if he plays well this year are we going to loss him

redlights's picture

I really like Tolzien. But, umm,
cart --> horse.

He is only signed for this year. After this year, he is a Restricted Free Agent.

Longshanks's picture

Teddy Tee won't lose him. You need to put your trust in Ted. Ted works hard at 1265 Lombardi 24/7 so you can sleep well at night. Relax I say.


Longshanks's picture

Obviously any nimrod can see that whoever takes the snap not named Rodgers for Green Bay is going to be inferior. That's a given because Rodgers will probably go down as the best qb of all time in NFL history by the time he's done.

As for the backup, it's not too late. Most would be thrilled to see Vince Young as the backup even if he struggled. They just liked him.

It took guts for TT do cut all three and start from scratch beginning of the season but in the end it will pay off and it will starting this week as Tolzein is clearly better than anyone they had here since Aaron Rodgers was backup to Favre. The last two games was worth it to me to get Tolzein backing up Rodgers for the next 5 years. Problem solved. Thank you Ted!!


P.S. You don't know he's not a Tom Brady. Tom Brady didn't even know he was Tom Brady until Bledsoe went down and he finally had a chance to play. Aaron Rodgers was just a guy before he had a chance to play. Nobody except a few like myself knew he would be great. I see the same thing in Tolzein which is I am speaking out alot on him.

Ron from ct's picture

Thanx Redlights I thought he looked real good the way he played and I'm hoping he can be Rogers backup the next few years

4thand1's picture

Longshanks i'm as hardened as they get too. 20+ years of great qb play with possibly 8 more. AR tilts the field in the Packers favor, he's just that good. Now more than ever I hope this team realizes they have to keep #12 upright. Go all out in free agency and draft to get the best offensive line possible. They have an MVP QB in his prime and can't afford to waste any more of it.GOPACKGO

Evan's picture

"Go all out in free agency..."

Because teams that do that fare so well.

4thand1's picture

I also said draft. Picking up a good starting free agent isn't out of the question. They are currently around 10 mil under the cap.

Longshanks's picture

4th and 1. I hear ya on the offensive line. I really do believe that Ted did understand about protecting his no. 1 investment. People tend to forget his two straight years of drafting no. 1 picks on offensive tackles in Bulaga and Sherrod. Unfortunately neither has played much. Sucks!!

I personally think the biggest thing we need to solve is these fucking injuries for the past couple seasons. They are absolutely destroying us and preventing us from being the best team in all of football. Every fucking game we lose someone. It's insane.

I am at a loss as to fix this. Fire the medical staff? the trainers, the nutritionist? hire Richard Simmons? I have no fucking clue why this is happening. I even thought maybe it was some "curse of Irvin Favre" or some Indian curse brought on by the dead Buffalo in Oneida last year when someone forgot to give them water.

I think solving the injury problem is where we need to look at first. You can bring in big name free agents but they won't help either if they get put on IR after week 2 of the preseason. Look at Joe Johnson.


4thand1's picture

Yeah, Bulaga can move back to the right side next year, hopefully he can stay on the field. Everyone is waiting for Sherrod. You can't tell me he's worse than Newhouse.Newhouse was average at best on the left side, seems totally lost on the right. Can you say practice squad.

4thand1's picture

Is the player union to blame for injuries? Ever since they did away with the padded practices and 2 adays, injuries around the league have increased. Ditka says players are soft and I tend to agree with him. A lot are concussion related but overall there's a lot of talent on IR.

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