Culpepper wants to play for the Pack as back-up

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Read here from NFL.com – apparently Culpepper is telling whoever will listen that he would be fine being Aaron Rodgers’ back-up. Here we go again. I know last time we brought up the idea of obtaining Culpepper, a good number of you were opposed to this (especially Brother Steve due mostly to Culpepper’s ridiculous arm roll thing…which may in fact be a strong enough reason to not bring him in). At that time, I wasn’t opposed to having him on the team, but I was concerned he’d develop an attitude if he couldn’t start. If he were to come to the team as the clear back-up at this point, I wouldn’t mind it.

Culpepper isn’t that bad. Yes, when he was considered “great”, he was great mostly because he threw to Moss. But I still think the guy has talent. I would feel more comfortable with Culpepper behind center than either Brohm or Flynn right now. My concern with Culpepper is that the Packers offense is rather complicated and one of the knocks on him in Miami and Oakland was that he apparently wasn’t stellar at picking up the offenses and he also had trouble reading defenses.

In the end, I think the team should consider adding Culpepper or a veteran QB. Culpepper clearly wants to play and he still has some tools that could be useful to the team right now. He has big game and playoff experience and he seems to really be interested in being a Packer. As long as he knows he’s the back-up, I don’t see much harm in adding him. Considering the shoddy preseason play by our rookies, I am a bit surprised we didn’t think more seriously about adding Byron Leftwich when he was available. In fact, I’m shocked he sat on the market as long as he did. The Steelers say he has been really, really good since joining the team.

As Trav and Scott wonder, will TT and MM be stubborn about their plan to go with 3 QBs with zero NFL starts or will they consider pulling in a back-up? Would the team rather have a back-up with mediocre pedigree or throw their rookies into the fire? Considering the talent on the team and the quality QB coaching McCarthy is capable of, would a back-up be able to pick things up quickly and bring a calmer presence to the offense? Would the rookies play appreciably better behind the #1 line with the #1 backs and the #1 receivers? Or would the rookies jump in there and make us look like a high school football team?

So the the options are to 1) pick up a veteran, 2) keep the rookies but move Flynn to #2 or 3) keep the rookies and keep Brohm at #2. I’d prefer the 1st option, could live with the second and don’t think the 3rd would be fair to Flynn. And, according to Gene Miller’s sports update this morning on WTMJ, McCarthy apparently hinted that the team is likely to stick with Brohm at #2. I’m not ready to give up on Brohm at all, but Flynn has played better and should be the #2, at least for the time being.

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26 Responses to “Culpepper wants to play for the Pack as back-up”

  1. BratsNBeerGuy Says:

    I’m pretty sure they will sign someone, McCarthy seemed to leave that door wide open last night in his press conference. I’d be OK with signing Culpepper — more so than going after Brooks Bollinger or Chris Simms as suggested by Michael Lombardi today:

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/2008/08/national-football-post-diner-news-7/

  2. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    i’m sorry, my initial reaction has little to do (not nothing though) with reality and football sense, but culpepper belongs on a team like oakland. he is a disease. and he is no longer a running threat – 2.0 yds per rush attempt the last two years. he had nine fumbles in six starts last year with those tiny hands. his passer rating has been in the 70’s since 2004. And, from Wikipedia: “Vikings coach Brad Childress likened his dealings with Culpepper to his dealings with Terrell Owens and said he never had a conversation with Daunte that didn’t involve his contract and getting more money instead of football and the team.” love boat. arm roll. tiny hands. whiner. ex-viking. disease.

    you don’t buy something because it’s on sale, you don’t pick up culpepper because you don’t have a veteran. flynn #2. risky, but i still say it’s the way to go.

  3. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    Why do people say the rookieS played “shoddy”? Brohm looks lost but Flynn is 27 of 42, 209 yards, 3TDs and a passer rating of 100.2. What is “shoddy” about that? I can’t think of another rookie Packer QB that has played better in his first offseason in my lifetime.

    He has a fumbling problem which hopefully he can correct. (But if you are that concerned about the fumbles, Culpepper is definitely not the solution.) I think Flynn has looked very promising, and I don’t understand why everyone is so eager to cut him. Make no mistake, picking up a vet means cutting Flynn.

    I know I’ve made the comparison before, but the Ravens drafted Pro Bowl Quarterback Derek Anderson in the sixth round of the 2005 draft then cut him and kept Anthony “seasoned veteran” Wright. Anyone think they regret that move?

    Cutting Flynn and signing a vet is also a total wimp move. If Rodgers goes down, the Packers are going to struggle no matter what. But Thompson will catch so much more hell if it is a rookie who is struggling rather than Simms or Culpepper. I’m hoping Thompson has a pair.

    As far as who is listed as number 2… who cares? Totally academic question until one of them is called upon.

  4. Ron La Canne Says:

    When Culpepper could move, he could be effective. He can’t move anymore. He was always inconsistent and tossed many, mnay interceptions. As I see the Packer Strategy for 2008, it requires as close to a mistake free performance as posssible in each and every game. He will not be the answer now.

    The Packers will have time to see who is available after the cuts. They could also make a deal after the cuts and hope one of the rookies will fall through to the practice squad. Obviously, the Packers really feel Rodgers will be around for a long while. If that’s the case it doesn’t really mater if someone grabs one of them. My preference is keep Flynn,

  5. awhayes Says:

    * Flynn’s 100.2 rating is misleading. While I do agree that Flynn has played reasonably well overall and definitely shown potential (Brohm hasn’t even shown that), his play last night vs the Titans’ #1 defense didn’t instill much confidence. And his play, while better than Brohm’s, has not been too convincing overall if McCarthy apparently left the door open to possible veteran help in his press conference last night. He is playing decently, but he still doesn’t seem ready. And there are a lot of other people out there right now questioning the Packers for sticking with 3 novice QBs.
    * Joshy – I too have considered those Culpepper arguments. However, one thing I stick to w/respect to Culpepper is that he has thrived when he’s been surrounded by talent. Playing for Green Bay this year would be a far cry from playing with the lowly Dolphins or Raiders of the recent past. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if McCarthy were able to get a lot more out of Culpepper than his coaches in Miami or Oakland. And Ron L, his mobility issues may actually help him because it was on his wild scrambles that he often threw picks and lost fumbles.
    * Ron L makes a good point w/re to the fact that Rodgers is clearly their guy going forward. So, unless Rodgers suffers a career-ending injury, Brohm and Flynn are destined for life-time back-up duty or a trade. My point re getting a veteran now is simply that I believe that the Packers would struggle LESS with a veteran behind center than with one of the two rookies. (It does depend on which veteran – Simms and Culpepper would be better, but not necessarily a Bollinger or a Nall).

  6. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    I hate to be a snarky a-hole (lie), but do you think Culpepper would have lit it up playing against the Titans starters with the Packer back-ups?

    The only way to appropriately gauge Flynn would have been to let him play with the Packer starters against the Titan starters.

    The Packers would struggle less? Maybe. But completely unprovable. There is a reason that QBs end up on the scrap heap, and its not because they are very good. The talent pool in the NFL is so far depleted that a guy like JT O’Sullivan is now a starter.

    The thought of cutting Flynn to sign Chris Simms makes me want to drown kittens. Insanely, mindnumbingly short-sighted. At least with Culpepper you can argue that he was good five or six years ago.

  7. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    …And in true life imitating sports form. The big debate today is whether McCain should have selected a more experienced back-up, or whether he was right to hitch his wagon to an up and coming (and sorta hot) prospect?

  8. awhayes Says:

    We obviously don’t see eye to eye on anything that has to do with Packer quarterbacking – so let’s at least agree on that. I don’t think I’m making an unreasonable argument when I say I’m not comfortable going into the season with 3 QBs who have never started, and 2 QBs who have never played in a regular season game. It is odd, among NFL teams, to keep 2 rookie back-up QBs. Sure, we shouldn’t do things a certain way just because it’s what everyone else does, and perhaps TT will end up looking like a genius, but in this case, there are solid reasons why most teams in the NFL make sure they have a veteran back-up QB option – and why this has been the case for years. I would just rather have a veteran behind Rodgers for this year, whether it be Culpepper or someone else.

  9. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    Most NFL teams also ***don’t have a promising rookie that they would have to cut in order to bring in a veteran.*** If the Packers wouldn’t have to cut Flynn, or if Flynn looked bad this preseason, I would be in favor of bringing in a vet, by all means.

    But why cut Flynn when the savvy vet you want to bring in will in all likelihood be no better than TJ Rubley?

  10. ja Says:

    I agree that Flynn has outplayed Brohm this preseason, but consider the sample size. 42 attempts is about a game and a half worth of playing time. When determining who is the better QB, I’d still weigh multiple years of college performance more heavily than a few quarters of preseason action. It wouldn’t disappoint me if Flynn were released in favor of a veteran backup. I don’t think it’s a given that Flynn would be snatched up right away, either. But it appears as though the team is content with keeping Brohm and Flynn. It probably doesn’t matter much who the #2 is. Didn’t the Packers alternate Detmer and Brunell as backups under Favre one year?

    I wouldn’t be so quick to anoint Rodgers as the QB of the future, though. He’s still largely unproven, and his contract will be up in two years. I’d say the odds at this point are probably 50/50 that he will be the opening day starter in 2010. There may be plenty of opportunity for someone else to step up by then.

  11. awhayes Says:

    DDD – You are placing too much faith in a totally unproven rookie and discounting the value of experience. I, on the other hand, may simply be too cautious to be willing to truly consider the possibility that a rookie could fill in just fine. In the end, I just think the team would be better served by having a veteran QB (admittedly a decent vet, not just anyone) and if a viable option comes forward, I think the team needs to consider it. (And right now, by the way, TJ Rubley would look like Montana next to Brian Brohm…)

    Ja – not with you on the Rodgers thing. I think there is about a 98% chance that he is the QB if TT and MM are still here in 2010. He has already been anointed.

  12. Trav Says:

    I think DDD’s point about having to release one of the rookies to bring in a vet is my biggest concern. While Brohm hasn’t been lighting it up, I can’t see them cutting him and hoping he clears waivers to bring him back to the practice squad (I think that is how it would function). If they do that, it was a total waste of a draft pick, unless that was their plan to have them compete and only keep one or the other. If they bring a vet in, I highly doubt they carry 4 QB’s unless Brohm mysteriously comes down with some injury to place him on the PUP list somehow. Traditionally, that is how an NBA roster works, where all of the sudden a 2nd round pick comes down with a hamstring “injury” and you hear the coach and trainer tell him to practice his limp to the bench for the next 82 games while he practices.

  13. ja Says:

    Well, if you remember the bookmaker’s odds that Silverstein found a few weeks ago, it’s already about even money that one of Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson, or Mark Murphy will lose his job by next year. If you strongly disagree, you should put your money down now!

    But I don’t think Thompson and McCarthy (assuming they’re still there) will be afraid to cut their losses and move on if Rodgers turns out to be mediocre after two years. Can’t imagine that they’d be able to rationalize to themselves or anyone else that he’s still developing after five years in the league.

  14. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    AWH: Straw Man. I have held all along that Flynn should be the number two, not Brohm. So comparing Rubley to Brohm is totally off the mark.

    Another straw man: I never said a rookie would “fill in just fine.” I said the Packers would struggle regardless. I’d rather see them struggle with a player that has an upside rather than a mediocre journeyman castoff without a spleen. ***cough cough Chris Simms***

    Again, even if Simms is “more ready” to step in…***how much more production*** will the Packers get out of him? And is it worth it to give up on a promising prospect for an incremental benefit? Simms has thrown a whopping 12 touchdowns his entire career (and 17 picks). That’s it. Twelve. Hey, he’s thrown more TDs than a rookie who has never had a chance. So he’s got that going for him. Is it worth it?

  15. Ron La Canne Says:

    3d,

    Sorry, two rookie developmental projects add no value. I might not be fully aware, but I remember no team having two rookie backups in the same year. Rodgers is obviously planned to be the starting QB for the foreseeable future. Hence, there is absolutely no advantage to carry both rookies. McCarthy will be busy enough dealing with the team without spending too much time with two rookies.

    This year none of us is sure just how much endurance Rodgers will have. If he does go down what do you do? Bring in a QB who has 5 fumbles in limited number of snaps? You can put the blame on the line if you want, but he is the one who dropped the ball. Bring in a QB who has shown he can do some good things but is also mistake prone in reading the defenses and receiver routes?

    The Packer offensive strategy for this year will require a minimum number of mistakes be made. Rookies are mistake prone (no foult of theirs, it’s just the way it is). The Packers need someone in place who will minimize the potential for mistakes. It’s an insurance policy, so to speak.

    Solution: Pick one of the two rookies to remain on the team. Try to trade the other. If that is not possible cut him. Bring in someone that has experience and a record of stable performance. You’ll not get a superstar for this job. You’re just picking someone who will hurt you the least.

  16. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    “Sorry, two rookie developmental projects add no value.”

    That’s it. I’m convinced. Why didn’t someone just say this earlier. I’m going to work on “increasing synergy.” Don’t worry, I’ll keep my pad level low.

    If Flynn can’t add value there is indeed no reason to keep him.

  17. awhayes Says:

    I still think the main factor here is experience – especially at the QB position. You obviously are less concerned re this. I don’t think by acquiring a veteran QB and getting rid of one of the rookies, we’d be throwing away our future. We’d still have a nice future with Rodgers and probably Flynn. And importantly, I think we’d be protecting the present by, as Ron L says, having a serviceable, less mistake-prone person managing the game for us.

  18. I believe in Rodgers Says:

    JA – I couldn’t disagree with you more. I take it you’re a closet Favreaholic secretly hoping Rodgers will fail. Way to put the team first.

  19. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    AWH: There is no way the Packers cut Brohm. Zippy chance that that happens. Maybe that is where the disconnect is. You do not give up on second round pick after one tc. Nor should you, especially given McCarthy experience coaching young QBs.

    I think one the problems here is that everyone is still speaking in the abstract. We are way beyond the abstract here. The consequences are crystal clear: (1) keep Flynn and develop him; (2) bring in a veteran cast off. (Brohm is not part of the equation. At all.)

    That’s the choice.

    If Brohm would have been drafted in the 7th round and Flynn in the second, it would be a really easy decision. But that’s not how things have shaken out.

    And I also think people are also underestimating how well Flynn has played. (It doesn’t fit nicely into the narrative that McCarthy and Thompson are stubborn). I’m not exaggerating when I say he has looked as good as any Packer rookie QB that I can remember (at least in the last 25 years). If anyone disagrees, I’d love to see a list of names. Why give up on that guy before we know how good he can be?

    And people seem to be overestimating the talent level of scrap heap QBs. Flynn looked every bit as good as “experienced” dudes like Pederson who have manned the pines in GB. Experience is great, but 12 TDs and 17 INTs is just not bowling me over, here.

    I’d like to see someone argue that the Ravens don’t regret cutting Derek Anderson for Anthony Wright. Anyone want to carry that flag? Sometimes a known mediocrity really isn’t as good as a intriguing prospect.

    That’s the first step: admitting that in some cases its a bad thing to give up on a talented prospect in the interest of “experience.” Once you make that leap then we can really get to the critical question: has Flynn shown enough that they should hang on to him. No question in my mind that he has.

    Then, again, maybe you think that the Raven cutting a future Pro Bowler for Anthony Wright was a stroke of genius.

  20. Ron La Canne Says:

    3D,

    So, being a second rounder takes precidence over acutal performance? That sounds rather stupid to me. Brohm has not delivered. I’m sure the team that offers retired QB’s $20 mil to sell T-Shirts can afford to absorb the second round guarentee money.

    Let’s say you’re right. Fine, then try to trade or cut Flynn. I would disagree with this but it still accomplishes what has to be done. You can’t have two QB’s coming in together and develop them both. At best, one is a backup for Rodgers for the foreseeable future and the other becomes trade bait two or three years in the future.

  21. bucky Says:

    I’m with 3D here. It’s clear that the first two QB positions are set: Rodgers is the starter, and Brohm makes the squad if only by virtue of being a #2 pick. So the only question to be asked is whether the Packers keep Flynn, or give up on him for a more experienced guy.

    Living in New England, I haven’t been able to see a whole lot of the games, but from what I’ve been able to see and other information I’ve been able to gather, Flynn’s been pretty good. It’s indisputable that he’s been better than Brohm. He appears to be fairly poised for a rookie. He may indeed turn out better than Brohm, perhaps turn out even better than Rodgers. It’s pretty hard to give up on that.

    On the other hand, you have available experienced quarterbacks. Bear in mind that they are available because no one else wants them. There’s usually a reason for that. I don’t even know who is available: Craig Nall? Vinnie Testaverde? John Hadl? Any QB that is brought in at this point is going to be a) off the NFL scrapheap, and b) unfamiliar with the Green Bay offense. In short, you’re not going to get a whole lot of production out of any of these guys.

    Let’s face it, if Rodgers goes down, the Packers do not have a great situation at QB. They’re not going deep into the playoffs without him, regardless of whether its Brian Brohm’s, Matt Flynn’s, or a more experienced thumb up Scott Well’s ass. In fact, they’ll be unlikely to even hit .500 in that unfortunate circumstance. And I just don’t think it’s worth it to give up on Matt Flynn to ensure going 7-9, rather than 5-11.

  22. Ron La Canne Says:

    The bad news via Packers,com

    posted 08/30/2008

    The Green Bay Packers released 19 players and placed three on injured reserve. Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the transactions Saturday.

    Released Saturday were wide receiver Jake Allen, cornerback Scorpio Babers, defensive tackle Conrad Bolston, center Brennen Carvalho, safety Tyrone Culver, linebacker Spencer Havner, tight end Joey Haynos, running back Noah Herron, guard Ryan Keenan, linebacker Danny Lansanah, defensive tackle Alfred Malone, running back Vernand Morency, defensive tackle Daniel Muir, cornerback Joe Porter, wide receiver Johnny Quinn, wide receiver Taj Smith, wide receiver Brett Swain, tackle Orrin Thompson and fullback Corey White.

    Defensive tackle Rodney Allen, center Junius Coston and long snapper J.J. Jansen were placed on injured reserve.

    **

    WATCH LIVE:
    GM Ted Thompson press conference
    Sunday, Aug. 31
    2:00 p.m. CDT
    ____________________________________________________________

    Both Herron and Norency gone. That’s a surprise. That means Lumpkin stays over them. Also Wells, Pickett, Sitton, and KGB. They occupy rosster slots and have played very little in the pre-season.

  23. scott in wisconsin Says:

    Culpepper is listening to his agent, who is also himself, who’s just looking out for his own best interest (as any player is) but TT would be stupid to bring him on. His talent was scrambling and his knees won’t let him do that anymore.

  24. Cindy V Says:

    Chris Simms looks to be available and wants to come to Green Bay. After watching both rookies look pretty raw, I’d like someone with a little more playing time as back-up.

  25. awhayes Says:

    I’ll allow that Culpepper may be a riskier option for many of the reasons you all mentioned – and it’s hard to write anything pro-ex-Viking. But my overall position remains that we should strongly consider a veteran. DDD, Bucky and others – I agree with you that Flynn is #2 and has been good in preseason. He shouldn’t be cut. But I don’t think Brohm has been good at all. He hasn’t done anything productive, at all. I know he’s a second round pick and I know he was good in college. I thought he’d translate to a good NFL QB, but some guys just can’t hack it at this level. So cut him and don’t settle for a guy on the scrap heap necessarily, trade for a back-up like Carolina just did. Be creative. Help the team – do whatever we can to minimize the damage to the team if Rodgers goes down.

    Anyway, cuts just came down – time to move on from this post…

  26. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    AWH: Who cuts a second round pick after one training camp? Especially a QB? Seems a little kneejerky. If you can dig one up, I’d definitely be interested in seeing a list of second round picks that have been cut after one training camp for any reason other than injury or off the field stuff.

    It always amazes me that fans has that special expertise that allows them to make snap decisions that coaches and managers need additional time to evaluate. It’s an amazing gift.

    McCarthy has a history of coaching young QBs. The biggest jump seems to be between the first and second seasons. That’s when Rodgers seems to improve the most, and that defintely when Hassleback made his huge leap. Why give up on a prospect after one training camp? It makes no sense.

    And I guarantee that the Packers are not going to cut Brohm. No NFL team cuts a second round pick after one training camp. I know this is a tough nugget to swallow, but the reason no team cuts their second round pick is not because every single GM in the NFL is some egoistical, stubborn, meat head.

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