Friday, March 14, 2008

Backup QB speculation

Almost as soon as the reality of Brett Favre's retirement set in, Packer fans started contemplating not only Aaron Rodgers as the new man under center but also who would now become his main backup. Other than unsigned free agent Craig Nall, the only other QBs on the Packers roster are a couple of undrafted first year players. The need for a competent and capable backup is huge, especially give the questions that fans and Packers staff have about Rodgers' durability. Heck, compared to Favre, any quarterback is going to be seen as a lightweight if they can't make it through even one season let alone 17! The exceptional -- i.e., Brett -- became our norm. We are going to have to readjust. And part of the process is perhaps seeing the backup QB play. A lot.

So, assuming that the Packers are not enamored of any of the folks currently on the depth chart behind Rodgers, what are the possibilities? has some interesting speculation, some of which has been confirmed by other independent news reports. For example, ex-Jaguars QB Quinn Gray paid a visit to the Packers this week. The Pack like him and have been apparently looking at him for some time. The Raiders are reported to also be interested in having him back up second-year QB Jamarcus Russell, perhaps even start if Russell comes in to camp in as bad a physical shape as he has been reported to be in. Given that Drew Rosenhaus is Quinn's agent, the thinking is that Rosehaus would be more apt to try to cash in on a possible starting gig in Oakland for Quinn than a backup role in Green Bay. So, Quinn might be wishful thinking.

Who else? Trent Green and Mark Brunell were rumored to be of possible interest. Take them off the board; Green re-signed at Kansas City and Brunell is said to be signing with New Orleans. As for others, Gus Frerotte, Tim Hasselbeck, and Daunte Culpepper are all free agent possibilities. As to trade possibilities, these reportedly include Sage Rosenfels (Texans), Chad Pennington (Jets) and J.P. Losman (Bills). Supposedly, Rosenfels is the best possibility among this group.

And don't forget there is a fairly deep draft in terms of QB talent. With two second round picks, it might not be out of the question to see GM Ted Thompson pull the trigger on a QB with one of them.

You can check out the analysis of the current situation here.

Sad story about Willie Wood
A couple days ago there was a moving story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the life these days of Packer great and Hall of Famer, Willie Wood. As the article says, "Today, Wood, at age 71, lives in an assisted living facility in Washington, D.C. He has had a host of physical problems, sits in a wheelchair and suffers from dementia." I had the priviledge of meeting Mr. Wood several years back when he and other 60's Packers were making appearances in area grocery stores as part of a Packers Glory Years videotape release. He was seated in a folding chair, looking very uncomfortable and somewhat bored. Didn't really say too much at all. It could have been the beginning stages of his dementia. Still, he graciously signed my tape box and shook my hand. Very dignified. Anyway, back to the story...apparently a number of readers contacted the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asking how to send cards of best wishes to Mr. Wood. You may do so by addressing your cards and letters here: Sunrise Assisted Living at Thomas Circle, 1307 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, D.C., 20005.