Just Like Old Times: Packers Set at QB While Division Deals with Turmoil
Heading into training camp, the Green Bay Packers are the only team in the division not dealing with some level of turmoil at quarterback, a welcome development considering where they were a year ago and a promising sign for a team looking to get back to the top of the NFC North.
Recent reports out of Chicago have new quarterback Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher at odds, with Urlacher allegedly calling Cutler a fancy word for sissy to Vikings WR Bobby Wade, a former Bear.
The two faces of that franchise also had words at OTA’s, and with Cutler’s recent reputation as a leader with some maturity issues, this can't be the way he wanted to kickoff his career in Chicago.
When the leader of your team is questioning the manhood of your starting quarterback before camp even breaks, it's not exactly the recipe for a Super Bowl run.
Throw in the fact that he is learning a new offense and establishing a rapport with new teammates, it appears that the Cutler era in Chicago may be off to a rocky start.
Maybe Bobby Wade is a genius and planted some quotes to stir things up in Chi-town. If so, he should give Vince McMahon a call when his playing days are over.
But if it’s true and the two do have issues, it’s the kind of squabble that can split a team apart, especially if the Bears struggle out of the gate.
Meanwhile, the Vikings are still trying to pick up the pieces in wake of Brett Favre’s decision to remain on his lawnmower in Hattiesburg.
With veterans Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, and Steve Hutchinson among others texting Favre throughout the offseason in an effort to coax him out of retirement, how can Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels feel like they have the respect and backing of their teammates?
Head coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell may face some credibility issues as well, as they are both close to Favre and clearly thought they had No. 4 coming in to improve their passing game.
It's pretty clear that they don't have much faith in either quarterback moving forward, and Childress will have to do a masterful job of rebuilding the confidence of whoever wins the job to avoid sabotaging a promising season for the Vikes.
They have spun the situation as an opportunity they simply had to explore, and they can’t be blamed for trying to upgrade to Favre, considering who they have.
But now that it blew up in their faces, it remains to be seen whether the psyche's of their remaining quarterbacks are strong enough to handle being jerked around all offseason.
Detroit is not without problems at quarterback either.
While they drafted their franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford in the offseason, veteran Daunte Culpepper is still trying to hold onto the starting gig in what appears to be his last shot as a first-string signal-caller.
It is a stretch to call the competition turmoil, but it is clear that Culpepper wants another shot at tossing bombs downfield to Calvin Johnson, and may muddle the Lions plans at QB if he flashes some of his old playmaking ability.
Relying on either a rookie QB or a veteran who still thinks he is an elite guy isn’t usually a recipe for success.
Then again, this is Detroit, where five wins might earn the team a parade.
These issues all seem to bode well for Green Bay, a team solidly behind Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.
The goodwill he earned by keeping his mouth shut through the Favre fiasco of a year ago has garnered him a great deal of respect in the locker room, and along with his stellar play has solidified him as a leader of the team.
Teams can be successful without being tight off of the field, but in a sport where emotion and camaraderie are so vital, the fact that the two chief contenders to the Packers for the division have serious issues at quarterback has to help Green Bay’s chances as they look to return to the top of the NFC North.
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