Green Bay Packers
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Replacing Rodgers is no slam dunk
Losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay is akin to the Chicago Bulls losing Michael Jordan. Well, in Jordan's playing days that is.
Rodgers is simply a player that can't be replaced.
But the Packers will soldier on this week - and the rest of the season - with third-year veteran Brett Hundley.
"I really like the way he plays the game," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said of Hundley. "Makes plays with his feet. He's able to move in and out of the pocket. So I would say starting with his footwork, ... definitely improvement there. But I would just say, being in his third year, just the complete understanding of the offense."
McCarthy has always fancied himself a quarterback whisperer.
In McCarthy's quarter century in the National Football League, he's worked with Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Brett Favre. McCarthy has taken a raw and unrefined Aaron Rodgers and helped mold him into arguably the top quarterback in football.
McCarthy helped get the most out of players like Rich Gannon and Elvis Grbac in Kansas City, Aaron Brooks in New Orleans and Matt Flynn in Green Bay.
But he will have his hands full trying to succeed with Hundley.
Hundley, a fifth-round draft pick in 2015, has terrific size (6-foot-3, 226). His arm strength is above average, his passion for football is terrific, and his athleticism (4.63 speed in the 40, 36-inch vertical jump) is outstanding.
But Hundley, the former five-star high school recruit, didn't play under center at UCLA. Hundley's pocket awareness while in college was poor as he stared down his first read and was easily rattled when things broke down around him.
In the first meaningful action of Hundley's career Sunday in Minnesota, he had a paltry 39.6 passer rating and threw three interceptions.
"I mean, he needs to turn it up," McCarthy said of Hundley. "There's no doubt about it. The whole team needs to turn it up. I told them, everybody needs to clean their house up right now. I don't like the way it looks.
"We've won games here in prior weeks and it wasn't good enough, and they've been corrected that way. They've been corrected every Monday where, 'hey we won the game, but we need to do this better, we need to do that better.' Brett's no different than the rest of us, starting with myself."
Hundley should benefit by having a full week of work with the No. 1 offense in practice. He'll get oodles of attention from his coaches this week.
But whether he is ready for his first NFL start remains to be seen.
"For me just to get my first taste of action, get my feet wet, and you know I'll be better, especially with a week to prepare," Hundley said. "But for the offense, I trust the offense, I believe in 'em, I love 'em, and they know I'm going to give 'em their best and they're going to do the same. We'll be better with a week of preparation, for sure get some things done."
SERIES HISTORY: 25th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 16-8 and Green Bay is 10-2 all-time at home.