Time to step up: Packers QB Scott Tolzien


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Over the next couple of weeks, we will take a look at 10 returning members of the Green Bay Packers who need to take their game to another level this season.

Next up is quarterback Scott Tolzien.

Why he needs to step up: Last season was a learning year as the No. 3 quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn. With Flynn gone, Tolzien will be one play away from the action and will need to be better than he was in 2013, when he made two starts during Rodgers' seven-game absence because of a broken collarbone. Tolzien threw five interceptions and just one touchdown in parts of three games that season. Since then, quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt has overhauled Tolzien's mechanics to help him deliver the ball quicker and more accurately.

What he has to do: For all of Flynn's limitations athletically, he knew how to run an offense and where to go with the football. If Tolzien can grasp that, he could be a better backup than Flynn because he has much better arm strength and mobility.

Outlook: Tolzien looked sharp in the offseason practices. There's no reason to think he won't carry that over into training camp and the preseason to lock up the backup job over rookie fifth-round pick Brett Hundley and street free agent Matt Blanchard.

Quotable: "Scott Tolzien has taken a step," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said during OTAs. "I think he's definitely done that through the OTAs. ... He's taking that step with his opportunities in the OTA practice environment. So he'll continue to work like he always has. At the end, it's the preseason games. That's where you really want to see every player take a jump, especially at the quarterback position. And I have all the confidence that he'll do that."

Previous installments

Part one: TE Andrew Quarless