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This is time to pull together

Posted Oct 17, 2017

Brett Hundley is the perfect person to step in for Aaron Rodgers


Will from Kenosha, WI

Why is everyone so down? The last time Aaron broke his collarbone the Packers won the division and we didn't have a backup that went through training camp.

Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL, so it’s only natural for Packers fans to mourn. You can’t lose hope, though. I’ve said this before, but remember the Packers finished third in total offense in 2013 despite missing Aaron Rodgers for 7½ games. Mike McCarthy structured the offense to suit Matt Flynn and the team came together. The Packers will do the same with Brett Hundley. This is time to pull together, not panic.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, the roughing-the-kicker (or punter) rules allow for no contact after the ball is kicked. Should the NFL change the roughing-the-passer violations to include no contact after the ball leaves the quarterback's hand?

There are many layers to this. I acknowledge it’s becoming increasingly difficult to play defense, but I agree with McCarthy’s assertion that the hit was unnecessary. I’m not sure how you go about policing it, but I believe it was excessive. The ball was out.

Michael from Modesto, CA

I have to agree with Preston from Tallahassee – it was a dirty hit, by today’s standards. And it seems like nobody is talking about that. If the NFL is truly concerned about player safety, hits like that should not be part of the game. Barr (probably) wasn’t trying to end Rodgers’ season, but he most definitely was trying to hurt him. There was no question that the ball got out before the hit, so it certainly wasn’t a play on the ball at the time he hit him.

Coaches coach players to finish the play, which is why I believe this is something the league has to address at a macro level. I get injuries happen in this league, but that particular incident could have been avoided.

Tom from Leesburg, FL

With the huge build-up for Brett, I thought he would have moved the team much better than he did. He's had three years to prepare and also for the coaching staff to prepare plays to fit his style. Was I expecting too much? I know he will be better next game and I do see a playoff team if the defense kicks it up a notch.

I’ve always viewed a backup jumping into a game like a car blowing a tire. You can throw a spare on and keep moving the car, but it’s not going to drive as smooth until you get it fixed. This week, you fix the tire. The coaching staff can tailor a game plan to Brett Hundley, who’ll get the chance to take the reps with the starting offense this week in practice. You can’t draw conclusions from that game alone.

Matty from Durango, CO

The winner of the NFC North this year should have an asterisk in the books if it ain't the Packers. The steamroller just lost a wheel.

Sorry, I already claimed the car/tire analogy.

Dana from Las Vegas, NV

Bummer about Aaron's injury. This is how I see it, Brett is not the QB Aaron is but MM and TT both have drafted and taught him and feel he is now the man. I feel it’s best to leave it up to them to decide what the Packers need. Next man up, no excuses. Simple as that, have faith we drafted Brett for a reason. Am I right?

I made the case during Tuesday’s edition of “Packers Unscripted” that Brett Hundley is the perfect person to step in for Aaron Rodgers. His playstyle fits McCarthy’s system well and he’s had two-plus years of learning in one of the best quarterback rooms in football. You may not be able to do everything you did with Rodgers at quarterback, but you won’t have to rewrite the playbook, either.

Jim from Maple Grove, MN

"Aaron is Aaron, but I'm Brett." I love Hundley's moxie, but what needs to happen for him to be able to cash the checks his moxie is writing?

I thought that was the best line of the night. Brett Hundley just needs to be himself.

Robert from Green Valley, AZ

Will you please strongly encourage Packer fans to give a huge ovation to Hundley when he and the offense trot out on the field at Lambeau for the first time? It is important for BH and the Pack to know we are still behind them 100 percent.

I would expect nothing less from Packers fans.

John from Sheffield, UK

Rough game but it is what it is. Nothing we can do about it now. Trying to pull out some silver linings, does this game give us an opportunity we otherwise wouldn't have had at running back and on defense? We have four talented RBs who in any normal year would have had limited snaps to demonstrate their abilities, and a lot of young players in the D.

Eddie Lacy and the run game helped lift the Packers in 2013 and they’ll again turn to the backfield to help lessen Hundley’s burden. The talent is there.

John from Greenville, OH

Do the Packers have enough depth on the offensive line to protect Hundley and to block for the running backs?

I think so. The Packers were coming off arguably their two best performances on the ground going into Sunday’s game. We’ll have to see what the outlook is for Lane Taylor, David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, but the offensive line has adapted before. James Campen will have that group ready to roll with who is available.

Mike from Somerset, WI

The Packers need to win six out of their last 10 to make the playoffs and a possible Aaron Rodgers playoff return. How big are the remaining five home games?

The path to the playoffs begins with winning at home. You have to take care of business at Lambeau Field. It doesn’t matter if it’s Rodgers or Hundley at quarterback.

John from Phoenix, AZ

Callahan? Why didn't the Pack go for Matt Flynn, who is a free agent? Did you forget the demolition he put on the Lions at the end of the season a couple of years ago? Broke a record with six TDs. I don't get this at all.

Callahan has two years in the system, whereas Matt Flynn hasn’t played in two years. Flynn helped steer the Packers through a challenging 2013 season and keep their playoff hopes alive, but this is Hundley’s time with Callahan serving as the backup.

Jeff from Elk Mound, WI

What was the Packers’ record in 2013 when Rodgers went out? If we have the same results, do we make the playoffs?

Rodgers’ last collarbone injury happened in Week 9. The Packers went 2-4-1 without Rodgers (and 2-2-1 after Matt Flynn took over). It’s hard to say whether they’d make the playoffs, but I know this much: win your division games and you have a chance.

Nate from New Berlin, WI

At this point, I know McCarthy is going to do whatever it takes to win. I really hope that involves at least some option packages with Cobb at QB. Successful or not, it would be exciting. Do you see that happening?

No.

Adam from San Diego, CA

I'm a realist when it comes to the Packers. Always have been. No rose-colored glasses for me. Without No. 12, the season is effectively over. Face the facts. No Super Bowl, heck, probably no playoffs. I am now just hoping the rooks play well and the young guys make a leap. But to be honest, more than anything, I'm just hoping we land at least a top-15 pick and get a third- or fourth-round pick for Hundley in the offseason. Am I the only one here who thinks like this? Rodgers will be back and we need to surround him with all the talent we can to win another title.

So you’re saying the Packers have virtually no chance, but Hundley will play well enough to earn a third- or fourth-round pick this offseason? Dynamite drop-in, Monty.

Brian from Santa Ana, CA

I have always looked forward to every Sunday because of the Packers. If the game wasn't on, I would head to a bar to watch. Never missed a game. Now that Rodgers is out, I might catch a game here and there, but I'm essentially done with football. The Packers have zero chance of winning and I don't want to spend my time watching them flounder in mediocrity. Luckily, I live in California and have a lot of other options for spending my money and time. So long for now Packers!

OK.

Darin from Madisonville, KY

I still have a very positive outlook on this season. We are currently 4-2, and I really believe that 10-6 wins the division this year. That means we have to go 6-4 (with one of those wins being Minnesota at home for sure) with Brett at the helm, and let's not forget some of the throws we saw him make in the preseason. That's only one game over .500. I feel good about it. What's your thoughts on my assessment?

It’s a lot more reasonable than Adam and Brian.

Josh from San Clemente, CA

Can you explain to me how the official called that a caught ball when it bounced off the field? It was clear as day that it hit the field and they called it a catch. Does there need to be something done about the officials and how they officiate?

It’s unfortunate, but the Packers couldn’t challenge because they were out of challenges. I’m not sure what else could be done other than the official putting himself in a better position to see the entire play, or coaches being allowed to keep challenges if they get them correct.

Jonnie from Detroit, MI

Are officials held accountable when they blow a call (such as the "completion" off the turf), or have an injury happen that could be prevented by a quicker whistle, or cause disruptions in the flow of a game with long penalty discussions? If the officials are not accountable for blown calls, what keeps them from letting their shortcomings get in the way of football?

Their calls are reviewed and graded. The NFL takes this all into consideration when determining who will officiate in the playoffs.

Bill from Menominee, MI

I'd hate to see it lost in all of the Rodgers injury discussion, but how impressed were you with the play of Kenny Clark? He looked like a dominant force shedding blocks and wrapping up for big tackles. I personally thought the banged-up defense contributed way more than you could ask with the injuries and time on the field they were expected to play through.

If you read the Inbox, you know my feelings on Clark. I think he’s one of the unsung heroes on this roster. His forced fumble of Jerick McKinnon was the perfect illustration of his playstyle. All eyes were on Clay Matthews’ return, but it doesn’t happen without Clark’s second effort.

Scott from Hayward, WI

I am not a Dom Capers basher...trust me. Having said that, do you agree at all that the Minnesota offense was way better prepared than the Packer defense? I felt all day that they could run virtually any play they wanted and it surprised our defense and made us look very slow. I believe Dom got seriously outcoached, regardless of injuries. Vikings were injured, too.

“I’m not such and such, BUT…” are my favorite start to comments/questions. The Vikings averaged 3.4 yards per carry, Case Keenum had a 78.7 passer rating and Minnesota was 4-of-12 on third down and probably should’ve been 3-of-12. Capers admitted there were too many missed tackles, but the Packers were in that game from start to finish.

Jason from Lake View, NY

Jordy Nelson had always been underrated because a lot of people make the point that he has Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback. Now that Aaron is out for a while I am excited to see Jordy get the recognition that he deserves.

Nelson, Randall Cobb and Adams are three great resources for Hundley. You could see Hundley already developing chemistry with Nelson during the second half.

Dave from Gloucester Point, VA

Mike and Wes, do you think TT and Mike will consider giving Brett Favre a call to help out at QB? I bet he can play at a higher level than some in the league.

No. There’s a new Brett in town.

Braden from Waukesha, WI

When is the last time a backup QB took a team to the Super Bowl?

Colin Kaepernick…depending on your definition of the Peyton Manning/Brock Osweiler fiasco in 2016.

William from Airway Heights, WA

The NFL should consider a return to restricting celebrations. The opening sequence from the film "BASEketball" should be a cautionary tale. I have already seen ridiculous celebrations that will only get worse left unchecked. I'm losing interest and patience with the NFL and I don't think I'm alone.

You lost me at “BASEketball.” I’m now re-watching it.

Kevin from Springfield, MO

Have you ever seen more negativity from a fan base of a team that is in first place? Looking at the schedule, I see a lot of winnable games. Who knows what Hundley could do after a few weeks with the starters? All we need is four or five wins to have a chance. It's a long season.

It is a long season. There will be ups and there will be downs, but there still is a path forward.


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