Nick Hill in action with the Orlando Predators
If you’ve been a fan of the Green Bay Packers for the past 20 years, you know there has not been a shortage of quarterbacks who have come through Titletown – quarterbacks who haven’t been named Brett or Aaron.
You can go back to the days when Favre was in his first season with the Packers and trace a line right up until today’s Packer unit. There have always been quality quarterbacks in the Packers organization. They haven’t always play. No, in fact, most of them have sat. You can start with Favre himself who initially sat behind Don Majkowski. You can add to the list Kurt Warner, Ty Detmer, Mark Brunell, TJ Rubley, Jim McMahon, Doug Pederson, Steve Bono, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks, Aaron Rodgers and Craig Nall.
All of them weren’t all-pros, but they were decent players in their own rights.
Now that it looks like the Packers organization is going to lose another quality backup in Matt Flynn, the team is left with just two on the roster – Rodgers and Graham Harrell.
Enter a guy by the name of Nick Hill.
He was signed by the Packers last week off the roster of the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. However, he’s not an unknown to the Packers brass. He was brought in for a tryout with the team in 2010 after Rodgers suffered his second concussion. Though he wasn’t signed at that time, Hill figured he would be signed in the off-season, but because of last summer’s lockout and the lack of an adequate signing period the Packers went right into preseason with the three signal callers they already had signed.
But the Packers didn’t waste any time when their season ended in inking Hill to a deal, realizing they would be short a quarterback once the free agent signing period came around. Hill led the AFL in passing yards per game (297.4) and total offense per game (321.8) in 2011, so he’s not a novice.
He came to the attention of the Packers because of a guy by the name of Caul Mauck, an assistant at Southern Illinois where Hill finished his collegiate career. Mauck was a former teammate of Packers general manager Ted Thompson with the Houston Oilers in the 1970s, thus the connection to the team.
Needless to say, Hill is excited to learn the Packers system and has the luxury of an entire offseason to do so.
“Excited would be an understatement,” Hill in an interview recently with CheeseheadTV. “I think that I just want to learn more about the game. I don’t think there could be any better situation as a quarterback to come into than coming to Green Bay, just watching (Rodgers) work, and what he does, and how he prepares and dealing with Coach McCarthy. I think for a young quarterback, I don’t think you could ask for anything better.”
So, with Rodgers and Harrell showing him the way, Hill is hoping that barring the team drafting of picking up a quarterback through free agency that he will learn on the fly and is hopeful he could land a spot with the team.
That remains to be seen, but down the road we may be listing Hill as one of those quarterbacks who started in Green Bay and played their way into the league through perseverance and talent.
Tags: Aaron Books Aaron Rodgers Arena Football League Brett Favre Caul Mauck Cheeseheadtv.com Craig Nall Don Majkowski Doug Pederson Graham Harrell Green Bay Packers Houston Oilers Jim McMahon Kurt Warner Mark Brunell Matt Flynn Matt Hasselbeck Mike McCarthy Nick Hill Steve Bono Ted Thompson TJ Rubley Ty Detmer