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Packers position preview: Quarterbacks

7/14/2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Between now and the Green Bay Packers' first training camp practice on July 26, we will break down each position group.

First up is quarterback.

Returning players: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien

Gone from last season: Seneca Wallace, coach Ben McAdoo

New this season: Chase Rettig (undrafted rookie, Boston College)

Position coach: Alex Van Pelt (first season), moved from running backs coach to replace McAdoo (who became the New York Giants offensive coordinator)

Biggest issue: Last year, the Packers went in to training camp unsure whether they had a capable backup behind Rodgers. As it turned out, they did not. Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman and Vince Young all failed to show enough to warrant the job, so the Packers turned to the journeyman Wallace. This year, coach Mike McCarthy thinks he has two viable options in Flynn and Tolzien. So what happens if both play well enough in the preseason to warrant the job? The Packers have not kept three quarterbacks on their opening-day roster since 2008, preferring instead to stash their third quarterback on the practice squad. Can the Packers afford to keep three quarterbacks at the expense of another position?

Player to watch: The Packers know what Flynn can do. Although his days of competing for a starting job with another team have probably passed him by, he once again proved his value as a backup -- especially in Green Bay -- by going 2-2-1 last season while Rodgers was sidelined with his collarbone injury. So all eyes will be on Tolzien, who went 0-2 as a starter last season after Wallace was injured before giving way to Flynn. Tolzien's upside might be higher than Flynn's based on his arm strength and age (26 compared to Flynn, who is 29). But Tolzien must show he can avoid the costly turnovers that befell him last season, when he was picked off five times in two games.

Medical report: Rodgers reported for the offseason program in perhaps the best shape of his career. He said his weight was around 220 pounds (5 to 10 pounds lighter than his playing weight last season) thanks in part to yoga exercises and diet. He showed no side effects from the collarbone injury and participated fully in the offseason program.

Help wanted: Barring an injury, the Packers won't need any additional help.

Quotable: "I think there's a comfort level obviously with the group that's here now," Van Pelt said. "Scott having a chance to start last year, probably a little premature. I don't know if he was quite ready for that, but he did a nice job and managed the game when he was in there. And then having Matt come back last year was a good shot in the arm for the group. Obviously with his knowledge of the system we feel very comfortable with him in there, won two games for us last year, did a nice job when he was in there. I think we're very happy with who we have and what we are and the direction we're moving. Should be interesting competition in the fall between Matt and Scott."