GREEN BAY — If the Green Bay Packers were indeed thinking about signing free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer this week, coach Mike McCarthy claims he wasn’t aware of it. Asked Thursday morning about an NFL Network report that they had pursued Hoyer after he was cut by the San Francisco 49ers and before he signed with the New England Patriots, McCarthy denied having any knowledge of it.
“First off, I can’t confirm it,” McCarthy said of the report. “From the time Aaron (Rodgers) has been injured, I’ve never once been involved in a conversation about bringing in a veteran quarterback.”
The report on Wednesday stirred up a lot of interest considering just two weeks ago McCarthy was very adamant in sessions with the media that with Rodgers suffering a broken collarbone against Minnesota, that Brett Hundley would be his starter and Joe Callahan would be his backup.
“That was really clearly the vision from the time we had to address it there in Minnesota,” he said.
All of this isn’t to say the team didn’t kick the tires on Hoyer or other veterans, something McCarthy acknowledged.
“I’m not naive to the fact that player personnel people talk around the league,” McCarthy said. “Was there a conversation on other free agents, particularly leading up to the deadline of trading? That’s those guys doing their jobs. As far as pursuing any player, I was not personally involved in any conversations, especially with a veteran quarterback.”
McCarthy and the Packers are dealing with life without Rodgers for a second time since he took over as a starter in 2008. They managed to go just 2-4-1 back in 2013 when he wasn’t in the lineup. Those memories had many asking questions almost immediately about potentially adding a veteran, and that noise grew even louder after Hundley struggled in his first start against the New Orleans Saints. The third-year pro threw for less than 100 yards and complete fewer than 50 percent of his passes.
“I think the sample size on Brett Hundley is way too small to come conclusions about what you think he is as a quarterback,” McCarthy said. “I’m fortunate to work with him each and every day. I believe in him as a quarterback. I believe in our system. But it’s about winning.”