Is Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy right to stick by quarterback Brett Hundley despite yet another poor performance in Week 11?
In four starts since Aaron Rodgers got hurt, Hundley has thrown for 783 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. He’s fumbled as often as he’s thrown a touchdown pass this season.
Last Sunday’s loss to the Ravens was his worst outing to date. Hundley turned the ball over four times (three interceptions, one fumble), leading to a humiliating shutout loss at Lambeau.
Despite Hundley’s struggles and the Packers’ 1-3 record with the third-year passer as the starter, McCarthy still believes in him.
“Brett Hundley is our starter,” McCarthy said following the team’s loss to Baltimore. “I believe in Brett Hundley.”
Maybe McCarthy truly does believe in Hundley’s abilities. Or perhaps he feels there is no other option. But is it the right call to stick with the man the Packers traded up to get in 2015?
The Lombardi Ave staff gave their thoughts.
Is Mike McCarthy right to stick by Brett Hundley?
Ralph Mancini: Yes, he is … for now. McCarthy, as he himself recently pointed out, has invested three years in Hundley’s development and to give up on him after two bad starts and one somewhat encouraging one would go against the coach’s publicly stated belief.
As long as the Packers are realistically capable of clinching a wild-card berth, Hundley should be the man taking snaps from center.
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And a loss to the Steelers next Sunday, on that note, should for all intent and purposes slam the coffin shut on Green Bay’s postseason aspirations.
This means that the 24-year-old can’t continue putting up similar performances to the one he just had versus Baltimore that saw No. 7 commit four turnovers and absorb six sacks.
We are not talking about a rookie, nor are we dealing with a second-year pro; Hundley is in his third season and it is reasonable to expect some level of improvement in his game.
Prior to committing to UCLA, the Arizona native was a highly decorated 5-star recruit, who checked all the boxes in terms of size, arm strength, character and athletic ability.
But despite his attributes, the young triggerman has never overcome his lack of pocket presence and inability to seamlessly transition through his reads when his primary target isn’t open.
That was an issue in Los Angeles and a major reason why he fell to the fifth round of the 2015 draft after showing signs of blossoming into a Day 1 NFL prospect in his freshman year.
If Hundley cannot recover from his last disastrous showing and give his team a fighting chance versus Pittsburgh, it may be time to turn to Joe Callahan in order to let the struggling signal caller take a breather and reflect.
Maybe he’ll be better able to learn from his mistakes by standing on the sidelines, but this writer is beginning to doubt that Hundley has the instincts and awareness to thrive as an NFL starter.
One can point the finger at McCarthy for not doing a better job of bringing him along, but some quarterbacks just have it and some don’t.
Great players, and not great schemes, make great coaches … and right now, Hundley isn’t anywhere near being exceptional.
Evan Siegel: McCarthy is right to stick by Hundley. The UCLA product has natural talent, but it just doesn’t seem like he knows how to harness it quite yet. This is not the world’s greatest indictment of McCarthy who “invested three years in him”.
The other troubling reality is that the Packers don’t exactly have any other options. Callahan is not an NFL level quarterback or anything close. The Packers foolishly avoided bringing in anyone to help spell Hundley in the likely event he continues to struggle.
Joe D’Aloisio: The answer is yes and no.
It was inevitable the second Aaron Rodgers went down that the Packers season was in jeopardy. It was also very obvious that the offensive production would decrease immensely.
Through six games Hundley has a 1-4 record, he’s completed 60.76 percent of his passes, thrown two touchdowns and seven interceptions. The stats do not lie, Hundley has been horrible.
Remember, McCarthy is the same person who adamantly defended Hundley when questioned about the possibility of signing a free agent to help the position. Now, he’s stuck with him and will do whatever it takes to prove that he’s right.
Lets also not forget McCarthy is the same person who proclaimed, “I’m a highly successful NFL head coach.”
A switch at quarterback right now, puts that statement from last year in jeopardy.
McCarthy stated to the media on Monday that Hundley would be starting against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, which is the right move, for now.
If Hundley plays as poorly has he did against the Ravens, it’s time to give Joe Callahan a shot. Callahan will not save the Packers’ season, but if he does play well and succeeds at least Green Bay has a backup quarterback.
One thing that Hundley has proved through six games is he isn’t a viable backup option.
Callahan could be good or may even be worse than Hundley, if that’s possible. Bottom line, it may be time to start focusing on next year.