Cory’s Corner: Scott Tolzien is the backup for the future
Scott Tolzien didn’t come to Green Bay with any fanfare.
He wears his uniform thanks to injuries that have stung the Packers’ starting quarterbacks in consecutive weeks — both in the first quarter no less.
Tolzien was even surprised at the turn of events because after he was brought into action vs. Philadelphia he quickly had to take off layers because you need to dress a tad warmer to hold a clipboard as opposed to steering the USS Packers.
Yet for as unassuming as he is, nobody should be surprised that the 26-year-old Tolzien is the Packers future as a backup quarterback. I know, that may sound odd. How can a backup come close to anything resembling a future?
Well, if you’re paying the best quarterback in the NFL until 2019 it makes sense to have a suitable insurance policy, just in case 2013 strikes again.
Even at Lambeau Field many folks were bewildered as to who Tolzien was. Remember, this is the same Tolzien that won 79 percent of his games at Wisconsin, taking the Badgers to the Rose Bowl in 2011.
There’s something else that he did that season. He etched his name in the Big Ten record book with the No. 2 completion percentage at 72.9 percent.
Starting to sound familiar to someone else? OK, I’m not saying that Tolzien is as good as Aaron Rodgers, but what I am saying is that he is an intelligent quarterback that is going to succeed in this league by beating teams with his mind over his body. Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady do that each week.
Now if Mike McCarthy will take the training wheels off Tolzien and let the kid throw, the Packers could be able to win some games instead of just trying not to lose them.
Tolzien sure has been through a lot. As if waiting to hear if your name would be called on draft day isn’t nerve racking enough, Tolzien had to wait until it was all over. That’s when the Chargers claimed him as an undrafted free agent. After the preseason, the 49ers claimed him off waivers.
But after earning a roster spot in 2011 and 2012 he was cut Aug. 26 by San Francisco and seven days later the Packers scooped him up and put him on their practice squad.
Since Sept. 2, Tolzien has made more progress than Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman ever did. He has a command of the huddle, isn’t afraid to make the throws into tight windows and has proven that he’s a quick study — unlike Vince Young.
It’s pretty safe to say that when Aaron Rodgers does come off of injured reserve, Seneca Wallace is going to be looking for work. Wallace’s best asset was the playmaking ability of his feet and at 33 years old, that burst is just not there anymore.
Tolzien is the guy that nobody ever thought would make it. After spurning offers from smaller or less desirable schools, Tolzien had to beat the previous year’s starter in spring ball to earn a starting spot at Wisconsin in 2009.
I know I’ve said it countless times, in today’s NFL, a good quarterback can hide a lot of warts a team may have. Rodgers has been able to hide a suspect offensive and defensive line and inconsistent return game into a team that was the favorite to win the NFC North before he broke his collarbone.
Tolzien technically is the third string quarterback who the Packers whisked off the practice squad to protect themselves from further catastrophe.
But he has added arm strength since college and has proven that he can make the throws including the out pass across the field.
After having an entire career revolve around people who never believed in him, I think it’s finally time to start believing in the kid that never stopped believing in himself.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn