Welcome to QB Week
Quarterbacks are the defining legacy of the Green Bay Packers.
Vince Lombardi’s championship juggernauts were powered by Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor and buttressed by a ferocious defense, but it was Bart Starr that piloted the entire machine.
Ron Wolf landed his top choice for head coach and reeled in the biggest free agent catch in franchise history, but he knew he’d only get as far as a quarterback could take him. He’d risked everything on Brett Favre as a result.
Ted Thompson made the most courageous possible move when he passed on help for Favre to draft his successor, a decision that has now defined the Packers for more than a decade.
So it should be no surprise, then, that quarterbacks continue to be the hallmark of this team. Aaron Rodgers remains in his prime, but the window of his prime years is certainly beginning to swing closed. Though he’ll sign a record-setting contract any day now, it will almost certainly be the final deal of his career.
Meanwhile, it was Brett Hundley, the understudy chosen by Thompson and groomed by Mike McCarthy, who couldn’t hold things together in relief of Rodgers last season. He’ll battle for his NFL life this summer. The very presence of his competitor, DeShone Kizer, is an indictment of Thompson, a sign that Brian Gutekunst is working to absolve the team of one of his mentor’s shortcomings.
Even beyond the second and third string, quarterback questions dog the Packers. Last seasons’ mishandling of the Joe Callahan and Taysom Hill battle ended up spiraling into one of the season’s critical errors, for which the athletic but raw Tim Boyle will try to atone.
With all this in mind, we’ll pass on a typical position preview for quarterbacks this year. One quick look at the position group would give us a base-level understanding of where the Packers stand at quarterback this year, but given the importance of the position league-wide and in Packers history, it merits deeper communication.
Over the next few days, we’ll look at each quarterback in detail and dive deep on the past and future of the position in Green Bay, hopefully telling the story of why this position means so much to the Packers. On the way, we’ll hopefully turn up some details about quarterbacks that will surprise and delight and help all of us gain a better understanding of the game we follow.
Welcome to Quarterback Week.