Packers: Mike McCarthy still believes in Brett Hundley

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 31: Brett Hundley
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 31: Brett Hundley /

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke Wednesday afternoon at the NFL combine.

Among the topics was Brett Hundley and the backup quarterback position.

Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette was in Indianapolis for the press conference to get McCarthy’s thoughts on Hundley.

As discouraging as this may sound on the surface it’s important to look beyond the quote itself. After the Packers lost to the Lions in Week 9 McCarthy was adamant about Hunldey still being the guy.

“Brett Hundley played better today. I have great faith in Brett Hundley,” he said, via Jason Wilde of the State Journal. McCarthy added on, “Brett Hundley is not our issue right now.”

While that may have been true, Hundley was almost a non-factor. He didn’t lose the game for the Packers, but he didn’t do anything to help the Packers win. The Packers won in Chicago the following week then got shutout at home by the Ravens 23-0 and Hundley had maybe his worst start as a Packer.

McCarthy doubled down on his support of Hundley then too.

“Brett Hundley is our starter. I believe in Brett Hundley,” he said.

This left Packers fans steaming and calling for Joe Callahan and wishing for Taysom Hill to be back on the roster. It was more than the poor play that was upsetting the fan base. It was the lack of accountability that McCarthy had with ‘his’ quarterback that he had been grooming for years.

Going forward

The quote from today conveys a different message. McCarthy is still showing support for Hundley, but two key things are different. First, Hundley doesn’t have to start anymore because Aaron Rodgers is healthy. Second, he’s admitting that he could’ve handled things differently.

There was concern that Hundley wasn’t playing well because the whole playbook didn’t seem available to him or McCarthy didn’t fully trust him. In retrospect, it was understandable that McCarthy wasn’t going to admit these failures in the middle of a season in which the Packers still hoped to make the playoffs. That still didn’t make it sit better with the fans.

The juice of the offseason is finally here and McCarthy is finally saying what we all wanted to hear months ago. If the Packers aren’t going to sign a veteran to back up Rodgers, hearing McCarthy admit that he screwed things up with Hundley is the next best thing. Only time will tell if he meant it or not.

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Hundley won’t have to take a meaningful snap in 2018 if all goes well. McCarthy may know he didn’t handle Hundley as well as he could have, but that doesn’t mean he’s suddenly learned the right way to coach a backup. This gives us McCarthy, at the very least, one more year to work with Hundley. Conveniently enough, next year is the last season of Hundley’s rookie deal.