Packers 2016 Recap: QB Joe Callahan
Expectations going into the season: Low
Expectations were: Met
Analysis: Callahan's been everywhere, man
Quarterback Joe Callahan had the longest odds to make the Packers’ roster. He made the most of his chances in preseason and stood out.
He played for Wesley College, a Division III school in Delaware, and won the 2015 John Gagliardi Trophy, the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy for Division III.
The odds are long that any Division III player, let alone a quarterback, can land on an NFL roster. Callahan's successful preseason and ability to stay on an NFL roster for an entire season is a testament to his natural gifts and his work ethic.
When the Packers cut Callahan in October to make room for defensive help, he was one of the most coveted players on the waiver wire.
Callahan excelled in training camp. Aaron Rodgers stayed in a ballcap on the sidelines for most of the preseason, and backup Brett Hundley’s ankle injury gave Callahan ample time to show what he can do.
In four preseason games, Callahan was 54-88 for 499 yards and three touchdowns. In the third exhibition game against the 49ers, Callahan displayed his mobility and ability to throw on the run with this touchdown pass to Jared Abbrederis:
Preseason ended, and Callahan was surprisingly still on the Packers roster. After four games and five weeks, Green Bay needed a roster spot for defensive help and released the quarterback.
Two months later, he was back on the Packers roster. But not before Callahan traveled across the United States:
- October 14, 2016: Packers cut Callahan in hopes of signing him to their practice squad.
- October 15, 2016: Saints claim Callahan on waivers. The Giants and Cardinals also put in claims on Callahan.
- October 22, 2016: Saints cut Callahan in hopes of signing him to their practice squad.
- October 24, 2016: Browns claim Callahan on waivers.
- November 28, 2016: Browns cut Callahan. The Saints and Packers hope to sign him to their practice squad.
- December 2, 2016: Packers sign Callahan to the practice squad.
- December 17, 2016: Packers promote Callahan to 53-man roster from practice squad.
It’s unclear what the future holds for Callahan. At best, he’s a backup quarterback with mobility. At worst, he’s a fun footnote five years from now when you’re watching highlights from the 2016 Packers preseason at 2 a.m.