Cory’s Corner: Scott Tolzien is the backup for the future All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Scott Tolzien will be making his second career start on Sunday vs. Minnesota.
Scott Tolzien will be making his second career start on Sunday vs. Minnesota.

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- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


46 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Scott Tolzien is the backup for the future

  1. …”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”…

    No mention of the 1-5 td to int ratio?

  2. Have as much hope as you do that ST develops into a solid, capable BU. But I have to disagree with you on one point.

    The very best QB’s in this league don’t beat you with their minds – they beat you with their eyes.

    It’s the one trait, if everything else is relatively equal, that separates the men from the boys.

    1. What controls the eyes? You have to think to look a safety off. If you don’t think your eyes stay on the guy you plan to throw to.

      1. I appreciate the neurology primer. Your reply to my post has me thinking of a word that rhymes with ‘stick’.

        But there’s an upside to you seeing to my education. Now I can tell my girlfriend she was wrong about why my eyes wander because she thinks I’ve lost my mind.

        1. Lookin off a safety is nothing like lookin at a woman. Lookin at a beautiful woman is 2nd nature for a man. Lookin off a safety takes conscious decision to go against nature. Looking at you target would be natural, just like looking at a beautiful woman would be. Lookin off a safety is more like not looking at a beautiful woman.

          I guess you don’t know what comes natural and what you have to force yourself not to do.

          1. Wow. You have to be the most obtuse person I’ve had the misfortune of encountering. Your command of the obvious is mind-numbing.

            Now I know why you get banned from a lot of sites – no one likes stupid.

    2. Savage57,

      Take it a step further. How do you interpret and analyze something? Your eyes give you the details but your mind processes what action to take next.

  3. While a backup for the future is nice… it sure would have been cool to have had a backup for the present going into THIS season.

    1. …..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….
      while right up to game day TT was playing switch-a-roo with backups to AR. Shame on TT for embarrassing the Packers, the fans, etc by not having a backup QB immediately after signing AR’s contract. How stupid and unprofessional could he have been?

  4. His completion percentage is so great because interceptions count as a completion. Let him play so he can beat Favre’s interception record. Give him 2 full years and he will destroy that record…

      1. Or How about Graham Harrell’s first play?
        Rodgers drove the ball all the way down to inside the 5 yard line of the Saints only to go out the next play after being poked in the eye. Harrell comes in as BU, and promptly gives the ball back to the other team on his first time in a regular season game. Oh, did I mention he fumbled only after tripping on his own teammate,s foot?

  5. I’ve seen enough of this kid already to be 90% sure that he IS our back-up of the future. I also think he can be a damn good NFL QB i.e., a winning QB. I think he will defeat Queens, Lions and Falcons and save our season. I realize probability of my being right is small (10% or less) but I feel it coming. This team will follow him once he gets on a roll. Vikes secondary is a good place to start. Lions secondary isn’t much better. And I think we’ve seen the last hurrah from ATL. It’s a longshot but it’s doable. And if it comes to pass, count TT as one lucky guy.

    GO ST!


    1. Archie, you are one optimistic dude. Maybe Tolkien could play well enough but you are forgetting about our horrific defense.

  6. Tolkien will be a fine backup, now all we need is a defensive line, offensive line, defensive backfield, and then were set. Superbowl here we come…

    1. If Tolkien is our backup, is Bilbo Baggins the D-Lineman of the future?

      Tol-z-ien, not Tol-k-ien 🙂

  7. But our defense is no worse than theirs. Can our offense put together long time consuming drives in the bitter cold against this opponent? I think they can. Can MN do the same against us? Only if AP plays like AP and I don’t think he will.

    AP may break one long one and Patterson may bring one back to the house and Jennings may even catch a TD. Heck I’ll even concede them a FG.


    MV 24
    GBP 35

    Eddie Lacy scores 1 TD
    J Starks scores 1 TD
    Jordy Nelson scores 1 TD
    J Boink scores 1 TD
    B Bostick scores 1 TD

    Lions lay egg on Turkey Day as big favorite with all the marbles on the line.

    Off extended rest, GB returns home to beat (the already packed and ready for the off-season)) Dirty Birds on the frozen tundra.

    AROD returns to defeat Dallas, CHI et. al.

    I know it’s optimistic but until/unless the football gods take it away from me, it’s what I want to believe! 🙂 It would be a season to remember and if we were to go on and win the Super Bowl it would top 2010!

    1. I like this Archie much better than the one who has been posting over the course of the last couple months! 😉

  8. Well said Cory. Tolzien was thrown into the deep end of the pool and, while he didn’t win the games, has shown that he can handle the pressure. I hear about his work ethic, his intelligence and his command of the huddle and that says something. He has shown that he can make some big throws and, if not hampered by MM weak play calling, he might of been more effective.

    Either way, he is the first backup since Matt Flynn to show this kind of potential. The game is definitely not too big for him. Your info on his Wisconsin days tells me that he knows how to lead and how to win. You can’t teach some of this stuff and I am glad that he eventually landed in our laps.

    1. And he can throw interceptions with the best of them. Farve is so jealous he can’t remember where he put his Wranglers…

  9. Tolzien also had a bunch of future NFL linemen and a hellacious running game at Wisconsin. The kid is playing like a young QB that sat on the PS, I have no complaints with him. My complaint is TT waiting until the start of the regular season to sign a guy that was out of football completely the year before.

    1. Tolzien was SF scout team QB last year, based on how they played the packers I would say he did a damn good job of it. Tolzien was cut by SF a week before GB signed him, as stated in the article.

      1. I know how they acquired him and I guess missed your point Gary. Granted Tolzien may have helped some, but Stopping Kapernick was job one since the 2013 schedule came out. Based on when the Packers acquired him, I doubt he really helped THAT much in week one. Especially considering the Packers secondary made Bolden look like Calvin Johnson. Bolden hasn’t come close to putting numbers like that up since.
        I think Tolzien could be a good backup one day. Personally I think with a week of practice I think Flynn gives the Packers a better chance to win, but that’s just my opinion. I mean he did alright in his only two starts with the Packers. Matter of fact, made him millions.

    2. True. I don’t think any true Packer fan is complaining about Tolzein. We are all sitting on his breakout performance. I hope he likes the cold.

    3. “My complaint is TT waiting until the start of the regular season to sign a guy that was out of football completely the year before.”

      Are we still on this? C’mon…we’re past #2 and on to #3 at this point. Bitchin’ about #2 is now irrelevant. Could we expect ANY #3 to play much more competently than ST at this point?

      1. Well that’s your point of view. Clearly you dozed off for the entire Bears game if you have the nerve to call Wallace a #2 QB in them first place. I get defending the Packers but that was just plain stupidity on TT part! One thing was made clear that game. He should have be out a NFL job in 2013 just like 2012.

  10. Now, the play of our offensive line is more important than ever. If we move the ball on the ground, and give Tolzien time he can make the throws to our WRs who should be able to beat the Queens and Lions DBs. Of course we still need at least a decent effort from our own pass defense. Between now and Thursday afternoon we’ll know if our season is over or if we still have a playoff shot. These next 2 games are basically playoff games for the Packers. Go Pack! Thanks, Since ’61

  11. Seneca Wallace is already done with the Packers. He is on IR and does not participate in the QB meetings. When Rodgers is ready to play, the question will be if Matt Flynn will remain on the roster as the third QB or if they use that roster spot for a developmental player.

  12. True. Once AROD is ready to go, if Tolzein is their man, better to use Flynn’s roster spot on a PUP player. Get Worthy and Richardson on the field. Maybe even Tretter.

  13. Scott Tolzein will be a masterful quarterback in the NFL, he has skills, patience, is always willing to do what it takes to succeed, has AR to benefit from, and Mike McCarthy to continue issuing confidence building leadership qualities. As for the OLine, I believe they are also a good bunch, that haven’t had a whole lot of experience developing Team blocking skills, (injuries are a killer in this regard because it takes time to know each other well enough to be the effective force they can and will be soon), that said, the running game (love those guys, wham!, bam!, excuse me mam) and receiving core, (an absolute team match for any other team in the league),says our offence is awesome, period. Have faith:) The Defense is weakened by injuries to the linebackers, and db’s that have fallen from grace, but the DLine can and has packed a punch, don’t give up on those fellas. We have Dom Capers, and if anyone can salvage the defense, he will. I’m a Green Bay Packer Fan through and through, I’ll Love these guys not matter what, just have faith and believe. It WILL all come together. Scott Tolzein will be a long time part of it if TT realizes what he has and Mike McCarthy at least for the short haul, releases the tie-downs and lets Scott Play. Green Bay Rocks!!!!! peace, jimmy

  14. A lot of posts on here overlook the fact, once Tolzien’s got more experience in GB, he’s not gonna sit around as a backup no more than Flynn did. IF he shows quality talent, there will be offers higher than what Thompson will pay and another quality backup will exit GB for a bigger paycheck, count on it!

    1. He’s signed for 2 years right now. And unless he plays REALLY well (and I mean like gets GB to the playoffs well) for the duration of the season, he won’t command top dollar.

      No backup QBs in recent history who have been hot FA’s have done so.

  15. It’s going to be interesting to see what game plan MM has for the offense. The queens will no dought load up the box and force the Pack to throw the ball. If ST doesn’t have any picks, I think the pack can pull this off. MM needs to incorporate more screen plays to offset the pass rush when the queens bring pressure.

  16. Tolzien will win the next three games. He will relax and spot his openings, choose good plays and think clearly out there… and the Pack will come back just in time for Aaron to step back in place. Ye of little faith in Tolzien’s ability are sadly mistaken.

  17. Tolzien will only score 7 pts in 3 qtrs and will be replaced by Flynn. Flynn, with minimal starter snaps in practice, will erase the hole Tolzien dug and turn a loss Into a tie…now who is our backup of the future?

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