The Green Bay Packers lost starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone last Sunday. So some sports reporters and fans are wondering why they don’t sign free agent quarterback/political activist Colin Kaepernick.
From a pure football standpoint, putting politics aside, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Packers to sign Kaepernick.
NFL offensive playbooks are like “War and Peace” – very thick and very complicated.
To bring in a quarterback in mid-October, who has no clue about your system, and will have to learn it from square one, is a recipe for disaster.
Aside from not knowing the system, a quarterback signed in October who has never been with that team before, nor has any chemistry with passing game targets, is a recipe for disaster. That is what all those spring and summer practices are for; to get the quarterback and his targets on the same page.
The Packers have two quarterbacks in the building who are well-versed in their system, and already have chemistry with their weapons. Those quarterbacks are Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan. Also remember, though it’s unlikely, Rodgers might still come back late in the season.
So when a reporter asked Packers coach Mike McCarthy about possibly signing Kaepernick, his answer made perfect sense.
“I got three years invested in Brett Hundley; two years invested in Joe Callahan,” McCarthy said. “The quarterback room is exactly where it needs to be. Okay? We’re fortunate to have a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. We’re committed to the path that we’re on. We need to play better as a football team.”
That answer is logical, but perhaps not to the Kaepernick-lobby. McCarthy took some national criticism for this answer, and was accused of snapping at the reporter.
Obviously, sometimes teams sign quarterbacks in the middle of the season, perhaps due to a couple of QB injuries.
When you are forced to do that, you are best served signing a gym rat, a workaholic, who will spend 15-16 hours a day at the office (the common NFL QB workday) to get the system down.
A 49ers source told NFL reporter Albert Breer that Keapernick didn’t work hard last year in San Francisco.
“As one Niners employee explained it, Kaepernick wouldn’t stay late at the facility during the season like many quarterbacks routinely do, saying he’d take work home,” wrote Breer for MMQB.com in June. “And there were examples where coaches saw what looked like shoddy prep surfacing in inexplicable mental errors in games.”
So that doesn’t sound like a guy you’d want to sign mid-season. It’s an arduous task getting up to speed on an NFL system in-season, so you want to avoid signing players who don’t burn the midnight oil.
Also, you need to consider how the signing will play in your locker room. This might be hard to believe since you never read it anywhere, but there are NFL players who don’t like the Kaepernick-led anthem protests.
So while Kaepernick to Green Bay makes a ton of sense to some fans and reporters, from a football standpoint, especially since it’s mid-October, it makes little sense.