Unit by Unit: Quarterbacks

Analysis of most important position on the team

In the first in a series of breaking down every area of the Green Bay Packers, let's analyze Green Bay's most important position. The quarterback situation is up in the air at this point with the uncertainty surrounding Brett Favre's future. Will Favre return or retire? Will Aaron Rodgers be up to the challenge of leading the Packers if Favre is not in Green Bay next season?

Starter - Brett Favre
Backups - Aaron Rodgers, Craig Nall

The 36-year-old Favre has been pondering his football future at his off-season home in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Packers say that they have not given the future Hall of Famer a timetable on when to let them know if he's coming back, but the organization probably wants to hear from Favre prior to the start of free agency on March 3.

Favre is scheduled to receive a base salary of $7 million and has a $3 million roster bonus coming his way in March, if he returns for a 15th season in Green Bay. If he does return, Favre will have to improve on a disastrous 2005 season when he ranked 31st with a career-worst 70.9 passer rating, and his league-high 29 interceptions (12 more than runners-up Aaron Brooks, Drew Bledsoe and Eli Manning) tied Lynn Dickey's 22-year-old franchise record.

Last season, Favre seemed to have lost all confidence in the offense in front of him. The Packers were hit hard by injuries at three skill positions - wide receiver, running back and tight end. For whatever reason, Favre continued to throw ill-advised passes, often deep, and opposing defenses feasted. Favre finished with 20 touchdown passes, but threw only six in the final 10 games while winging 21 interceptions and an atrocious passer rating of 58.0 in that span.

Rodgers played in just three games last season, but only got extended playing time in Green Bay's blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 19. And it's unfair to judge Rodgers on that performance because he entered the game late in the third quarter with the Packers trailing 34-3, and the Ravens knew that Rodgers would be forced to pass on nearly every down.

Rodgers, the Packers' top pick in last year's NFL draft, is the future at quarterback in Green Bay. He displayed his strong arm and an ability to scramble during the preseason. The jury is still out on how well he adjusts to Mike McCarthy and Jeff Jagodzinski's offensive scheme.

"If it's Aaron's turn, then it becomes Aaron's turn," said Jagodzinski, the team's new offensive coordinator. "We'll have to accentuate his strengths and limit his weaknesses. But there's a lot of players around him that can step up and be a big factor next year. He's not going to have to win it or lose it all by himself."

Four-year backup Craig Nall, who did not play in 2005, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His return to Green Bay will depend on whether or not Favre retires. If Favre does retire, Nall would make for a good backup behind Rodgers. Nall shined in the playing time that he received in 2004, playing in five games and completing 23 of 33 passes for a whopping 139.4 passer rating.

Packer Report Top Stories