Sixteen seasons is a monstrous long time to start for a single team in the NFL. In that time a lot of backup quarterbacks came and went. Some of them were terrible some of them not so bad.
In fact there were several Packer backups who went on to start with other teams. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see if you recognize any of these names.
In 1992 Brett took over for Don Majkowski after an injury sidelined Majkowski. Don returned from injury but never regained his starting position. So, Majkowski became the very first backup the Brett Favre ever had. After Majkowski came a cascade of QB backups…
- 1993 – Ty Detmer: Former Heisman trophy winner and eventual starter for the Eagles.
- 1994 – Mark Brunell: Eventually started for Jacksonville and then Washington.
- 1995 – Ty Detmer, Jim McMahon, and TJ Rubley: Ty returned for another helping of Brett Favre backup and was joined by the former Bears QB who was excited to have front row seats to watch Brett Favre.
- 1996 – Jim McMahon and Doug Pederson: Both these guys earn themselves Super Bowl rings for their exquisite ability to carry a clipboard.
- 1997 – Doug Pederson and Steve Bono: Steve was a previous starter for the 49ers and Chiefs and was the Packers’ insurance policy.
- 1998 – Doug Pederson: Starting to see a pattern here?
- 1999 – Matt Hasselbeck: Eventually started for the Seahawks and led them to the Super Bowl.
- 2000 – Matt Hasselbeck: Eventual winner of the foot-in-the-mouth award.
- 2001 – Doug Pederson
- 2002 – Doug Pederson
- 2003 – Doug Pederson and Craig Nall: Now there’s a name we haven’t heard in a while.
- 2004 – Doug Pederson and Craig Nall: For what it’s worth, Nall had a career QB rating of 123.8.
- 2005 – Craig Nall and… Aaron Rodgers: The future of the Packers arrives on the scenes.
- 2006 – Aaron Rodgers and Ingle Martin: Ingle who? Yeah, I remember him.
- 2007 – Aaron Rodgers: And the rest is history… well, recent history.
Doug Pederson was the perennial guy in this list. He was there year after year, holding the clipboard, and giving Brett sideline insight into what to look for on the field. The role prepared Pederson well for his future role as an offensive coordinator.
Hasselbeck has to be the most infamous of the lot. After all, who doesn’t remember his “We want the ball and we’re going to score gaffe?” (In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, or, if, like me, you just can’t get enough of it, here it is below…)
In all seriousness and all fairness, Matt had a solid career with the Seahawks and even had a chance to start in a Super Bowl with Seattle. He was never an outstanding quarterback, but he was above average enough to lead his team to the biggest venue of them all.
Mark Brunell went on to have a great career of his own. He wasn’t the ironman Brett was but he gave his teams consistent play and largely dodged the injury bug. Brunell made several Pro Bowls and still ranks in the top 25 of NFL QBs in passing attempts, passing completions, and passing yards.
That brings us to the most famous Brett Favre backup of all. Welcome to Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood.
Here’s hoping that Aaron can play just as many seasons as Brett did and leave just as many backup QBs in his wake.