As it stands right now, the Quarterback room for the Green Bay Packers has a combined one NFL start, with 83 NFL pass attempts. Those stats belong only to new starting Quarterback, Jordan Love. After Love, the total NFL experience in the Packers QB room is (channeling Dean Vernon Wormer from Animal House) “zero point zero.” Even though after Dean Wormer told John “Bluto” Blutarsky that fact, Bluto went on to become a Senator, the Packers may want to bring in more experience for a “just in case.” The addition of a fourth quarterback may be necessary.
Alongside Jordan Love as it stands currently, is Danny Etling and newly drafted Sean Clifford. Etling has spent his career on the practice squads of Patriots, Falcons, Seahawks, and Broncos after being drafted in the seventh round in 2018. Clifford may have been drafted by the Packers in the 5th round this year, but many had him slated to go undrafted.
It stands to reason that many think the Packers could use a veteran QB as a “just in case.” And even if that case doesn’t come, the knowledge and experience of a veteran, former starting QB could still rub off on Jordan Love as he takes his first steps as a starter himself.
If they don’t however, it wouldn’t be unprecedented as Love’s predecessor didn’t have a veteran QB behind him his first year either.
Rodgers, Brohm, and Flynn
After Brett Favre retired, and then unretired for the first time, the Packers stood their ground and kept Aaron Rodgers as their starting QB. Everyone knows that. Some have forgotten that after that however, the Packers had a QB room behind Rodgers that also had zero NFL experience.
In the 2008 Draft, the Packers selected Brian Brohm 56th overall in the second round. Brohm was thought of as a top QB prospect. He should have gone in the first round, possibly in the top 10. But he dropped to the second round and Ted Thompson couldn’t let this top prospect pass him by a second time. Who could blame him? If Rodgers didn’t work out, maybe Brohm would. In fact, many saw Brohm being the better overall Quarterback and that he would likely beat out Aaron Rodgers in a year or two.
Boy was that wrong. Instead, Brohm himself was beat out by fellow 2008 pick, Matt Flynn to backup Aaron Rodgers. Flynn however, was drafted in the seventh round. Brohm never made it off the Packers practice squad before being released in 2009, while Flynn went on to be Rodgers’s backup for five years as well as a return as a starter for a few games in 2013.
So, the lack of inexperience, in a way, worked out for the Packers back then.
Head Coach Matt LaFleur has already stated that they are currently moving forward with the Quarterbacks they have. They are giving the young QB’s a chance to show what they have before considering bringing in a veteran.
In all honesty, why rush it? It’s early May. Training Camp won’t begin until late July. They could sign a veteran QB two months from now and they’d likely still be good to go for Camp. So, the Packers have plenty of time to evaluate their young QB’s.
In a way, Sean Clifford reminds me of Matt Flynn. Lead his team to wins in big games such as the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl. Set records as the QB of his school while staying very under the radar. Lastly was viewed as a great leader. Flynn after winning the National Championship with LSU still only went in the 7th round. Obviously, something was there for Flynn to still have a serviceable career, so why not Clifford?
It’s already been said that QB coach Tom Clements has been a great asset in the growth of Jordan Love after just one year with him. So, it’s entirely possible Clements could mold Clifford and Etling as well.
What if they don’t work out?
If Clifford and Etling aren’t where the Packers need them to be come July, who could they turn to? There are a few veteran Quarterbacks the Packers could turn to that are currently available.
Teddy Bridgewater could be an interesting one as he’s already proven to be a serviceable backup with other teams. He’s hopped in to at least hold his own with four teams in the last four years and could be reliable at learning the playbook quickly and being ready to go if needed. But is the advice to Jordan Love truly there?
My choice to pluck off the streets to serve as a valuable asset to Jordan Love is Matt Ryan. Sure yeah, he’s going to be 39 in just 9 days, but Matt Ryan had his best year ever with Matt LaFleur in his corner in Atlanta. Matt Ryan could be a very positive advocate for Jordan Love in LaFleur’s offense and will help serve as a quasi-backup/coach for him. If the price is right, I would love to see Matt Ryan in Jordan Love’s corner.
Outside of Ryan and Bridgewater, I could get behind Nick Foles perhaps. To me however, Foles would be more of a backup plan for this season. Granted Foles has some great experience, I have to feel he’s gunning for taking another starting job as he’s made a career out of it. Foles could offer some advice, but throwing a guy that’s made a career out of taking over the starting job could feel a bit counterintuitive. The Packers don’t need any more controversy right now, they have enough of it.
Overall, I like where the Packers are at QB. As much as dark clouds could hang over in terms of experience, perhaps, as history has shown, it could be unnecessary.
Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.
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