If anything is certain and kosher in Brown County, it is the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback situation. Aaron Rodgers, who is a decade-in as the Packers’ primary gunslinger, scrambler, and member of the intelligentsia, is still a premier quarterback in today’s National Football League, singlehandedly providing impenetrable security to Mike McCarthy’s employment — as long as the quarterback has success, that is. Superlatives can’t communicate Rodgers’ projectile on his Hail Mary’s, nor can they put forth how important he is to the team, like a King on a chessboard who only needs protection from his bishops and Queen to be a tour de force.
Of course, the future Hall-of-Fame demigod has a few names underneath his own, on the depth chart, namely third-year gem, Brett Hundley, a UCLA product whose name has turned into trade bait.
For Hundley, every preseason snap’s outcome, beginning with next Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, could be another hundred-thousand dollars some team in dire need of a play-caller is dishing out. Though, admittedly, there aren’t many franchises starving at the quarterback position, unless he were to latch on and serve as a backup to someone on the verge of retirement, or sidelined due to injury. Experience hasn’t exactly been available for Hundley, thanks to Rodgers’ above-average healthiness and sheer agelessness, though the young quarterback has played most of the snaps in the preseason. In four regular-season relief appearances, however, Hundley has thrown for 17 yards, completing 2-of-10 passes and an interception.
The 24-year-old’s pocket awareness isn’t as poor as it was prior to him being drafted, and his durability has been mostly restored, after an ankle injury sidelined him for select snaps during last preseason. Coaches have noted his infectious leadership and mindfulness, which can only elevate after being behind Rodgers for at least another year.
Perhaps the luxury of sitting behind Rodgers will yield a superstar, and the deontic standing could be enough to land a megadeal. In other words, slightly tinged gold is worth more than spotless platinum, excluding the record industry. Anyway, there are, believe it or not, two other quarterbacks we’ve yet to get to, behind Hundley, so, let’s do so.
Joe Callahan has a year of professional football experience — in which he was a member of the Packers, New Orleans Saints, and Cleveland Browns, nonetheless — underneath him. Eleven months ago, Callahan, then a member of the Pack, was fresh off a near-perfect preseason performance that included 499 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Ten months ago, he was placed on the waiver wire, headed to the Crescent City for a week, to back up Drew Brees. Eventually, he found his way back into a green and gold uniform, and it seems as if he’s got more to prove, to convince head coach Mike McCarthy he can be called upon, if both Rodgers and Hundley were to be out.
He doesn’t appear to be an uberathlete, though he can still find his way around the pocket, evade defenders with high-frequency precision, and make deft sideline throws when he needs to. People will discredit him for being a Division III creation, but his quarterbacking ability extends far beyond that. There’s a reason he’s been picked up by three teams, and Packers’ fans will likely vouch for his presence on Green Bay’s final 53-man roster.
Rookie Taysom Hill, out of BYU, is physically fragile, which is largely why he not only went undrafted, but did so at the age of 26. With that said, it’s hard to say how much Hill’s fractured leg, hyperextended knee and elbow, and displaced metatarsal bones (otherwise known as a Lisfranc injury) derailed him, given that he ran a 4.44 at the combine this past April, and posted a 38.5-inch vertical. It’s still early enough in his career that he can undergo a positional change, as has been dissected previously.
Coming from a school that judiciously utilized the pistol, and formations like it, when cleated, Hill brandished his skillset on taking off with the football. For his collegiate career, he ran for nearly 3,000 yards, including 603 last year. As far as his arm, he’s not going to out-throw anyone in the discus, but he does maintain decent accuracy on mid-to-deep passes. We may be talking about him at a different position, whether in a few weeks or in a year’s time, but Hill figures to be the fourth-string quarterback.