Cory's Corner: Brett Hundley Has Earned Backup Job

After looking utterly confused and bewildered starting nine games last year, Brett Hundley has played with a noticeable chip on his shoulder in camp.

The Packers are stuck between a rock and a hard place at backup quarterback.

First of all, Brett Hundley wasn’t supposed to play this well. After looking utterly confused and bewildered starting nine games last year, Hundley has played with a noticeable chip on his shoulder in camp. Hundley has completed 62 percent of his passes this preseason for 263 yards with one touchdown, one pick and a quarterback rating of 81.25.

Those aren’t bad numbers, even though the Packers traded away a starting corner just to get someone better to play his position. Of course, that guy is none other than DeShone Kizer. He has completed just 51 percent of his passes for 403 yards, two touchdowns, no picks and a quarterback rating of 88.8.

In a perfect world, Kizer easily beats Hundley out, and the Packers keep two quarterbacks. However, Kizer has looked questionable at times and the Packers need more consistency from their backup spot. And that’s why Hundley should open the season as the Packers backup quarterback.

Hundley has shown that he has the ability to step up in the pocket and make a confident throw. Hundley still has the ability to make plays with his feet, but he is more willing to stay in the pocket a second longer to give his receivers a chance to make something happen.

Kizer on the other hand hasn’t shown that he fully grasps the offense yet. The pass to Jake Kumerow on the outside of the numbers that resulted in an 82-yard touchdown is a throw that Hundley cannot make. Kizer’s arm is clearly better, however, his accuracy on simple throws is what is baffling.

If Kizer had played consistent during camp, he would’ve won the backup job and Hundley would’ve been cut or traded. The Packers would love to use that valuable roster spot for another offensive lineman or maybe even another linebacker.

But since Kizer’s play has been anything but consistent, the Packers must use a roster spot for three quarterbacks. It will mark the first time the Packers break camp with three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster since 2015 when Green Bay kept Aaron Rodgers, Scott Tolzien and Hundley.

Does Hundley make you all warm and fuzzy if Rodgers goes down? Of course not. Neither does Kizer. The fact remains, if Rodgers goes down with an injury again for an extended period of time, the Packers are sunk. And that’s why this preseason was the worst-case scenario for the Packers — they are being forced to use depth on a position that can’t be expected to carry the team when called upon.

Kizer is still the long-term solution at backup quarterback. He has the physical tools and has shown glimpses of what he can do — he just needs to do it more consistently to win the backup job.

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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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Comments (69)

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Packer_Fan's picture

August 28, 2018 at 06:29 am

Hundley always looked OK playing against vanilla defenses. So his performance in preseason has little bearing for the season. Has he turned the corner, I don't know

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The TKstinator's picture

August 29, 2018 at 06:39 pm

Backup in SEATTLE, that is!

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Cubbygold's picture

August 28, 2018 at 06:43 am

I was sold on Hundley after last season. After all, if Rodgers isn't playing, the season is effectively over and GBs competing for a better draft slot. Hundley is the man for that job, no doubt about it.

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Demon's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:22 am

By your logic all a backup qb is supposed to do is hold a clipboard and if the starter goes down lose a game? Ok well how come it has to be Hundley or Kizer, why not me? I could do that job.

I'd play for league minimum and have a huge smile on my face! I'd do everything I can to make AR's life easier. Do his laundry, run all his errands, take out his trash. Just whatever you do Aaron, DONT GET HURT!

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croatpackfan's picture

August 28, 2018 at 06:52 am

Kizer is 22 years old - Hundley - 25. Kizer was playing as starting QB for bad team out of college. Hundley had 2 full seasons behind Aaron and showed nothing when he called to play for Packers. Do you remember that game against Ravens last season? After that game he needed to be cut immediately!

If Hundley's 1st option is taken by defense, he runs around like chicken w/o head. He has no vision and he has no progression when he leads the offense. These 2 things you can not coach!

So, forget Hundley. If only Packers were smarter and placed Tysom Hill on QB 2 place last season, we would have very good back up QB today!

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Zebra 3's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:52 am

I agree. Hundley did not progress enough to take the 2nd string job.

CUT HIM!

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PatrickGB's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:05 am

I have an idea, cut them both. Save the bit of money, free up a roster spot and start again perhaps later. The backups on other teams look better than our backups. If Aaron goes down the team is toast anyway. All the Packers need is one QB starter and a PS player to share reps. And if we have a dominant defense and good running game then having one or two less backup QB’s is just fine

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stockholder's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:01 am

Kizer won the job. The better arm always wins. We saw Hill leave and look what Happened. Kizer should be the back-up.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:04 am

I will say Hundley looks a lot better this preseason. Whether thats due to him improving or him playing against weaker opponents and not being schemed against, I don't know.

I still see his tendency's to hold the ball but he has been better overall.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:22 am

RC, you must forget that Hundley looked perfect every pre-season. He is the best pre-season QB in this league!

Problem is actual games. He has psychological blockade every time he need to play significant snap...

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HarlanHuckleby's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:06 am

What? No grumbly-old-man comments about gum chewing yet?

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Rebecca's picture

August 28, 2018 at 04:01 pm

You’re precious!

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Packer Dave's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:08 am

I would be shopping Hundley hard for a backup OT. Kizer is new, 22 years old and played behind terrible blocking this preseason.

Resources need to be allocated to protecting Rogers vs who is going to carry a clipboard on the sidelines.

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Savage57's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:43 am

Just not yet. Start Hundley in game 4, and hope he acquits himself well.

Keep both BH and Kizer on the 53, slide Boyle to PS, knowing he might not make it, but if so, let the season simmer a bit and see how attrition stacks up at the QB position around the league. As starters get beat up and backup are elevated, roster holes will be looking for bodies.

Let demand drive the utility for Hundley's services, then do a swap for a reserve OT for competent depth.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:24 am

“Hesitation” Hundley always looks good in August. But whoever sticks will not be a starter anyway. I say plan for the future, cut both if need be. Trade for someone else or plan for a future draft pick. Start over. Sure, a trade would be nice but nobody will trade a good player for him anyway. Let it go.

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Wigopack's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:24 am

He's definitely performed better than the other backups this preseason.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:30 am

Being the best of the backups means nothing if he has no future. None of them is the future. We would probably be better off with a well traveled veteran to fill in this year. If we want a backup QB for the future, he is not on the roster now.

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BradHTX's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:38 am

Agree on Hundley, disagree on Kizer. It's simply too early to tell whether he has a real future or not. He was thrown into a terrible situation last year, starting on a bad team without the benefit of any coaching. This summer he is brand-new to the offense, so obviously he's not going to look as good as the guy who's been in the system longer (and failed miserably when given his chance to start in real games).

Kizer has the one thing that can't be coached: arm strength. The other mechanics and mental aspects can be taught with time. Will it take, and will he become a starting-quality QB? Who knows. But he deserves more than one preseason to find out.

Hundley, on the other hand, has shown who he is. Could he be better this year if called on? Maybe, but I'm not a believer.

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Demon's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:43 am

You say Kizer was thrown into bad situation. No talent on the team and no coaching. Are you sure Hundley had anything better? Did Hundley have any more talent or better coaching? I'm not sure he did.

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BradHTX's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:54 pm

No QB gets the coaching they used to before the stupid CBA. The 2017 Packers certainly had problems all over the field, but the WR crew of (declining) Nelson, Adams and Cobb was far superior to Corey Coleman, Kenny Britt and Sammy Coates.

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egbertsouse's picture

August 28, 2018 at 07:39 am

The Packer press always falls in love with Mr. August around this time of year. Unfortunately, so do the Packer coaches. They all pretend that he’s not going to suck when he goes against NFL starters even though they’ve seen it with their own eyes time after time.

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pacman's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:11 am

I didn't see enough pre-season to judge but the reviews on Hundley seem very mixed. Boyle is a surprise. He had some very nice deep passes in the first game and even short ones were crisp. Kizer - just something wrong here.

I just don't believe Hundley could change that much after last season's showing. Will new management keep last year's bad decision going? Fool me once....

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Leatherhead's picture

August 28, 2018 at 01:13 pm

I've watched and rewatched and then rewatched in slo-mo every Hundley pass play this preseason.

He appears to lock onto his receiver and that'll cost him when he's going against real DBs. He does not appear to see people who are about to break open.

I have no faith in him to lead anybody anyplace. I think he's our best backup right now but that's not saying much. We have to keep him, and we should have Kizer on the 53 man roster, too.

His play this preseason is a mirage. He is who he looked like last year.

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Lare's picture

August 28, 2018 at 01:51 pm

Hundley has usually looked pretty good in the preseason when everyone is keeping things pretty vanilla. In the season when they're firing real bullets, not so much.

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Grandfathered's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:21 pm

Why do "we have to keep him"? If AR goes down, the post season goes down too. Does it matter who the QB that is at the helm at that point?

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Big_Mel_75's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:20 am

McTubby always will keep the player that is a good guy even though his play is not up to par. Barclay anyone? The fact that Kizer has not get the chance to play with the number 2s meaning the nice guy Hunley who shows off all kinds of skills during preseason then plays worse at home then on the road? Hunley and his gum chewing like a cow needs to go!

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Richie19's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:24 am

If they waste a roster spot with with one of these guys they're crazy. Pick one and develop Boyle on the practice squad.

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BELIEVER's picture

August 28, 2018 at 11:40 am

I believe if Packers cut Huntley nobody would pick him up, not so with Kizer. I say cut Huntley and if needed resign him. Hopefully after this
last preseason game I never again see him a Packer uniform again. He was that bad last year.

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Demon's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:27 am

It doesn't matter who won the job. No way gute is going to cut Kizer after trading for him. The only question is if they keep both Hundley and Kizer.

Dump Hundley and send Boyle to the PS. simple as that.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:18 am

If by "dump" you mean trade him for some competent backup OT depth if you can find it...or best competent back up G if the better player...then we agree.

If Aaron can stay upright and healthy this season...and the D will continues to ascend...I think they will...this could be a special year.

Hundley is gone next year anyway. Keeping him hoping to get a #5 or #6 comp 2019 draft choice that is not a WIN NOW mindset. It is a TT mindset.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:30 am

Am I all warm and fuzzy about Hundley backing up Rodgers? Yes I am.

Again, people forget what a horrible team surrounded Hundley last season. Lousy running game, banged-up line, slow receivers, terrible tight ends, and a complete sieve for a defense forcing Hundley to play desperate. That mess got Aaron killed.

I also like Kizer a lot, and firmly believe he is the future backing up Rodgers--and he's actually progressing nicely (I laugh when people hold last Friday's debacle against him).

Folks, WE ARE LOADED at backup QB, and that's a good thing. Keep all 3, then trade Hundley when a team gets desperate due to injuries.

Of all the positions on this team, I worry least about QB.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:09 am

I worry least about DL.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:48 am

Yeah, I thought about DL too. But Rodgers-Hundley-Kizer seems so strong to me, and our DL hasn't been anchoring well against the run.

But I do love our DL.

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TXCHEESE's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:19 am

ALP, you make a very good point, and I believe Kizer probably has more trade value than Hundley. If the Pack can get a rotational OLB or a decent backup OT for him, then good for GUTE. I definitely want to keep Boyle around, because I think he has a higher ceiling than the other two. The problem is, I think any of the 3 will probably not pass through waivers if they get cut. Even if you have to include a future late round draft pick, I think you have to deal now, or others will simply wait till cuts are done.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:51 am

Kizer has more contract years, so I wouldn't even consider keeping Hundley and trading Kizer.

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zerotolerance's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:55 am

Those ARE bad numbers.

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Jim Frank's picture

August 28, 2018 at 08:59 am

Keep talking up Hundley's so the Pack can trade him for a fullback.

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Bure9620's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:01 am

The Hundley truthers are interesting. For some reason everything the guy put on film last year does not exist. Sorry you can't burn the tape. These same folks think "we'll just trade him for a pick later." There has to be a market for a player to trade said player for a pick. Hundley has no trade value because there is no market for him people! I hope he is not on the 53.

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BradHTX's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:44 am

Agreed. Supply and demand. There is a huge supply of marginal QBs who can do a few things reasonably well but aren't complete enough to consistently win games. Every team has one of these guys, the Tom Savages and Brock Osweilers of the world. Hundley offers nothing these other guys don't. I would be shocked if the Packers were able to trade him for even a conditional 7th. The value just isn't there compared to what everyone already has.

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Guam's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:33 am

My concern is keeping 3 QBs and burning a roster spot that could be used for a more needed player. I believe Hundley is slightly better than Kizer at this point, but I don't think either one of them will win a string of games for the Packers if AR goes down.

I believe Hundley has hit his ceiling and that Kizer has more upside. By all reports, Kizer has a better arm and less understanding of the Packer system which means he has more room for growth. Kizer also has two more years on his rookie contract. It is time to move on from the Hundley experiment.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:32 am

I simply have seen no improvement in Hundley from last year. He has happy feet in the pocket. He panics and takes off if his primary receiver is covered. His pocket presence and ability to read the field is terrible.

And most of his completions will be the short instant read quick hitter because he does not have the patience to let a receiver clear downfield during his route.

And he takes A LOT of sacks...which are drive killers and game changers.

This was how he played last year.

And this was how the scouts evaluated his play in college prior to his draft.

And he will be gone next year.

He hasn't outplayed Kizer by much, if at all.

Kizer at least shows pocket presence and ability to read and find an open receiver. He's not exactly "the guy" to back up Aaron yet either. But at least he will continue to learn and grow this year, next year, and the year after in Green Bay.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 28, 2018 at 11:42 pm

You are right!

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Since'61's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:52 am

Unless is a team is very desperate they are not going to trade for Hundley. The game still moves too fast for him during the regular season. Think about who on the Packers roster or which draft pick you would trade for Hundley if the Packers became desperate enough for a QB.

Kizer is not great either but he has more upside than Hundley and he may develop into a solid backup. It looks like we're going to keep both Hundley and Kizer which, to me, results in a wasted spot on the 53.

It looks like we're stuck with Hundley until 2019 when we can chuck him, keep Kizer and maybe draft a legit QB for the backup role longer term.

At this point, Hundley or Kizer, we're lost if AR goes down again. Thanks, Since '61

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Demon's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:49 am

Didn't we already decide that all a team would be willing to trade for Hundley was a ham sandwhich?

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croatpackfan's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:58 am

Correct, just need to add one of 2019 drasft picks in package...

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 28, 2018 at 11:36 am

No team will take Hundley until a decision by the Jets on Bridgewater is made. Hundley will go to whoever misses out on Teddy. Teams know what have the Packers have in Kizer,age,salary and it's only Hundley that's leaving GB...unless Gute pulls a TT and keeps Hundley.

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Since'61's picture

August 28, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Taryn I agree. WFAN in NY is indicating that the Jets are likely to keep Teddy until October assuming that Sam Darnold shows that he can grasp the offense and lead the team effectively. If that happens Teddy B will become expendable, especially for the right offer.

If Darnold does not play well early in the season the Jets may go to Teddy B until he proves that he is ready for the speed of the NFL game. Darnold is the Jets future so Teddy B will become a trade candidate at some point. Thanks, Since '61

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Big Moe's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:52 am

Meh, I dont feel he stood out at all, I thought Kizer had more pocket awareness, and just needed to get more comfortable in the system, Hundley looked about the same as he did last season, no better no worse. IMO.
Go Pack!

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Tundraboy's picture

August 28, 2018 at 11:44 pm

Exactly.

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Spock's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:02 am

Has Hundley slightly outplayed Kizer? Maybe. The one thing someone pointed out on one of the other blogs is that Hundley has had the benefit of the better starters AND the SCRIPTED plays. When he doesn't have to make a decision he plays fine which is why he looks good early. To me he still has that "deer in the headlights" look later in the game and still hesitates, then immediately thinks of running. I just think his in game "processor" is too slow for the NFL game. I don't know what Gute is going to do, but Kizer is the future and Hundley definitely is not (Plus, I just can't stand that cow-like gum chewing. Simply drives me nuts to look at him during the game). I hope that Kizer is able to START this week. I'd like to see how he does with the scripted plays and better starters.

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jyros's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:06 am

‘Happyfeet’ Hundley is not going to change.
Both Kizer and Boyle have far better arms.

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Bearmeat's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:18 am

If ARod is hurt for more than a game or two, the season is over anyway. So why not just roll with Kizer and see what he can develop into? Give Hundley's roster spot to another developmental prospect where we need some depth. OT, OLB, CB, ILB come to mind.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:41 am

Bearmeat, you are on the money. I say, why throw good money after bad? If Hundley gets cut, I am pretty sure no one else will pick him up. So he is available without losing a spot for a better player. Do we really NEED three QB’s? I don’t think so. And who cares if somebody might pick up a waved player that would not play anyway?

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SJ EC's picture

August 28, 2018 at 10:52 am

How many times have we seen Hundley have great showings in the preseason? I understand that he looks a bit better this go around, but I think we understand his limitations after 9 games in the “real” NFL... this is definitely a tough one, but I think we’ve already seen the ceiling from someone who has spent over three years in the system.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 28, 2018 at 03:25 pm

BH had exactly ONE (1) decent pre-season. His first.

his second he got hurt very early and missed the whole she-bang.

last year he was not very good.

ONE, that's all. That's it. No more.

Nothing to hang your hat on, especially when coupled with a 3 TC career trajectory capped by a 9 game regular season major FAIL!

BH has only played this PS to showcase him just in case BG could find a sucker that would take him off our hands.

BH fate was sealed the second BG traded for DK.

End of story.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

August 28, 2018 at 11:28 am

back up QB is a moot point......simply put....no Rodgers....no championship......end of story......

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billybobton's picture

August 28, 2018 at 12:36 pm

There are times people writing articles here really seem to have the interests and judgment of bear fans.

Jay and BH can coexist on a team and for fans; not Arod and BH. Something terrible wrong with perceptions of people who think BH out played Kizer

BH has the fact that MM ran his mouth about BH last year and fell on his tongue. Does MM admit a mistake after only a year?

lets see special teams coaches, capers, Randall and so many other say no....no you get 3 or 4 years to admit a mistake

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freddisch's picture

August 28, 2018 at 12:57 pm

If BH is our backup QB, we don’t have a backup QB

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Slim11's picture

August 28, 2018 at 03:13 pm

Has Hundley REALLY earned the backup QB job? I think not and here's why...

1. Hundley is in his fourth year in this offense. In his rookie preseason and preseason nos. 3-4, he has looked good. He should look better each preseason but, IMO, maintains his performance level. Kizer is in his fourth (fifth?) month. This is a poor comparison.

2. Hundley played nine regular season games last year and showed eratic play. Kizer started 15 games as a rookie and, as almost all rookies do, he played erratically. But, during the second half of his season in Cleveland, his numbers did improve. His improvement, on paper, is better than Hundley's alleged improvement.

3. Kizer can throw the ball better than Hundley. There's no argument there.

I have no doubt Hundley should be released. He has no trade value. Kizer has a little more but not much. But, MM is still the HC. This fact, in and of itself, scares me into believing Hundley will be the #2 QB.

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Slim11's picture

August 29, 2018 at 11:07 am

Hundley traded for a #6 pick from Seattle. So glad to be wrong!

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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 28, 2018 at 04:24 pm

Going into the 2017 season GB thought they had a starting-caliber backup in Hundley. Now? Who knows. But I feel like in 2017 too much time was spent trying to make Hundley play ARs offense, instead of playing to his strengths. The TB game is a great testament to that, as the offense didn't really come alive until they really started committing to zone reads and feeding the ball to Aaron Jones. (I was totally wrong w this statement and am not deleting it to admit I was totally wrong. Thought it was Jones, not Williams, that came alive at the end if the game).

With AR still not having a long-term contract, I think the Packers need a backup QB that could be a legitimate bridge to the next franchise QB if needed. I don't think either of the backups are that guy today, but Kizer probably has more upside if you want the current QB2 to be on the team 1-3 tears from now.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 28, 2018 at 03:27 pm

The TB game.

A Jones had his FIRST carry in OT and went to the end zone.

Get your facts straight.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 28, 2018 at 04:23 pm

You are totally right. My mistake. A lot harder to get a sense for who is on the field when you're in the end zone and the players are running your way.

Doesn't change the fact that BH saved that game with his feet more than with his arm. Should it have gotten to that point? No. But it was nice to see the offense playing to his strengths and moving the ball by any means necessary.

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Rebecca's picture

August 28, 2018 at 04:22 pm

Hundley hasn’t earned anything. He still looks like he’s playing college ball. He stepped up in the pocket maybe three times in three games. He bails out quickly and can’t throw accurately because he has no foot or hip moves. He’s quick like a scared bunny. Kizer isn’t any better. The Packers are not “loaded” at quarterback. Is Matt Flynn available? I don’t see what McCarthy sees in Hundley.

Can Hundley throw for 3-4 td’s a game? Can he make an accurate corner of the end zone throw? He’s a dump off to the back/short sideline thrower. That won’t win any games, especially with a suspect defense and a spotty offensive line and a running game that is still untested.

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Lare's picture

August 28, 2018 at 05:10 pm

I agree, the preseason has shown us that the Packers do not have a viable backup QB on their roster. Hundley, Kizer and Boyle are what they are, if Rodgers gets injured the Packers have little chance of winning with any of the above.

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Oppy's picture

August 29, 2018 at 08:39 am

Hundley made a good number of highly accurate throws this preseason. Accurate as in, pin-point placement, not just throwing AT a WR, but throwing the ball to a point in space that not only fits the throwing lane/window but also puts the ball where only the WR can get it.

He also dropped the ball perfectly over the WR's outside shoulder on the deep bomb to Adams- again, where only the WR could make the catch under tight coverage.

Hundley has velocity issues, but his accuracy has been on display overall.

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Kb999's picture

August 28, 2018 at 04:27 pm

Unfortunately Hundley has a resume. We saw last year what he can do. I didn't see any improvement so far. Kizer isn't any better. Flip a coin and wait for someone else to be available, possibly Bridgewater.

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USAPac's picture

August 28, 2018 at 09:37 pm

Trade both Hundley and Kizer and find a good vet who still has a couple of years left.

That gives you at least a 50/50 chance in the worst scenario.

But, If Aaron goes down the first game - season over.

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Oppy's picture

August 29, 2018 at 08:51 am

You need to find a partner to dance. Also, while I agree 100% that the Packers should invest in a veteran QB to back up Rodgers, realistically it is likely too late to do so this season and expect him to pick up the offense and be able to execute it without the benefit of an offseason and TC to learn the intricacies and get meaningful practice snaps.

We're most likely stuck with one of the guys we've got for 2018.

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