GREEN BAY – The numbers might have been decent, but the video showed that the Green Bay Packers’ offseason quarterback acquisitions are not where they need to be when it comes to the Mike McCarthy standard.
The head coach said Sunday that DeShone Kizer, obtained from Cleveland for cornerback Damarious Randall and an exchange of draft picks March 15, and Tim Boyle, signed as an undrafted free agent May 4, have fundamental flaws that they will need to work on in the remaining weeks of training camp.
Kizer completed 9 of 18 passes for 134 yards (74.8 rating) with two sacks and Boyle completed 7 of 15 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns (116.7 rating) in the Packers’ 31-17 victory Thursday over the Tennessee Titans.
The exhibition opener gave McCarthy and his staff a chance to see how much the newcomers brought from practice to live action. Among the things they’re evaluated on are footwork, ball carriage, eye work and throwing motion.
Both are being taught different ways to drop back and hold and deliver the ball and live action tests whether they can do it correctly under stress.
“Fundamentally, definitely, DeShone and Tim, they have a long ways to go,” McCarthy said. “That’s just where they are. DeShone, this footwork is totally (different). He’s from the other family (offensive style). So, he’s done a really good job since he’s been here.
“So, he’ll get another opportunity. It’s just like anything and it’s something we talk about as a quarterback room, you work the fundamentals, you grind on them all week and when you get to the competitive drills, you go play football. I don’t want a guy thinking about his footwork in the middle of a game or his ball mechanics.”
Brett Hundley, who is in his fourth year in the system, struggled with the change in mechanics as well. He went from a spread offense in college to a much more structured system and his transition was slow.
After a terrible season filling in for injured Aaron Rodgers last year, Hundley got off to a good start Thursday night, hitting 9 of 14 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown with one interception (81.8). More than anything, Hundley looked poised and in tune with the rhythm and timing of the offense.
McCarthy said at some point all the drill work and practice time will allow Kizer and Boyle to play with solid mechanics without having to think about it.
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“We just individualize what we want to get done with those guys and you’ll see that done in the quarterback drills, whether it’s pre-practice or post-practice,” McCarthy said. “So, we’ll just continue to stay after that and trust it’ll eventually show up in the games. That’s how that works.
“The two young (quarterbacks), they’re working, doing all the little things. They were productive, they moved the offense down the field, and that’s the first step.”
McCarthy said all the work Sunday would be against “cards”, which means the scout teams will be playing schemes the offense and defense will see this season, either this week against Pittsburgh or in the regular season. A “card” is what the scout team is shown before each play so it can simulate the opponent’s offense or defense.