For three years, from 2013-15, the Seahawks had about as ideal of a quarterback situation as a team can get.
They had Russell Wilson emerging as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and for the first two years of that stretch playing on a bargain-priced rookie contract, and in 2015 on a still-favorable cap number given Wilson’s performance.
And behind Wilson they had a reliable veteran also making not a whole lot in Tarvaris Jackson, who was also a respected locker room presence.
But since Jackson departed following the 2015 season, the Seahawks have had something of a merry-go-round at backup quarterback, with Trevone Boykin filling that position in 2016 and Austin Davis in 2017.
And last week stepping into that role rather suddenly, Brett Hundley, acquired from the Packers for a sixth-round pick in 2019.
Following his first practice with the Seahawks Monday, Hundley said the trade wasn’t a real surprise other than the fact that when the call first came he thought it was a neighbor.
“Our dogs were playing around in the backyard and so I thought he was calling me to tell me to put the dog in,” Hundley said with a laugh.
Instead, it was the Seahawks telling him to pack his bags.
Not that he necessarily saw the writing on the wall, but Hundley knew he might not be long for Green Bay when the Packers acquired DeShone Kizer, a second-round pick of the Browns who started 15 games a year ago as a rookie, in March.
“For me, it was knowing that going into my fourth year, Green Bay has a history with bringing in a quarterback on a guy’s last year, which is what happened with me when I got drafted,” Hundley said. “Scotty (Scott) Tolzien was the guy who was in front of me. For me, I let God lead me where I’m going to land. Day by day, I took it business-wise you could expect to be traded.”
Hundley, who played three seasons at UCLA, started nine games for the Packers last season when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, with Green Bay going 3-6 in those games.
While he said the trade was “crazy” to experience, getting on a plane and flying to his new team within hours, he also said maybe a change was needed.
“For me and my wife, it’s a blessing to be able to start again and come out here to this beautiful place,” Hundley said. “The vibe, the aura, the competition, it’s awesome here. I’m really excited.”
The question now is how quickly Hundley could get ready to play if he were needed Sunday in Denver.
One thing that drew the Seahawks to Hundley is that he played at Green Bay under Mike McCarthy, who was something of a mentor to new Seattle offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer early in his career. The offenses of Schottenheimer and McCarthy have some similarities that the Seahawks think will ease Hundley’s transition.
Hundley, though, said there’s still a lot to learn, laughing that he told his wife, Dawnielle Baucham, she may not see him for a while.
“Honestly, first day of practice, things were rolling a thousand miles an hour,” he said. “I love it here because practice is fast, it’s moving, there’s music blaring. To learn a whole new playbook and to jump into it, I’m not trying to just jump into, I’m trying to jump into the playbook, but I want to take it one step at a time. For me, just getting adjusted to that. There’s a couple of similarities, verbiage and stuff like that, but for the most part, it is different. Just sort of get in my eyes where to start, where my footwork is going to take me, all that stuff. It’s the small things that really count, especially learning an offense.”
Carroll said Schottenheimer and quarterbacks coach Dave Canales have assembled a plan to get Hundley up to speed on enough that he could function well enough if needed, with the obvious hope that Wilson will continue his incredible durability and Hundley won’t be needed anytime soon.
“He did fine,” Carroll said of Hundley’s first practice. “He got rid of the ball really quick today. I think what would be really impressive if you could see it, the way Schotty and Dave Canales have organized the process to get him ready to play this weekend. Very specific and very tuned in and he’s taken to it. He’s a really bright kid and he’s handled everything to this point so that he can go out on the field and he looks like he’s been playing with us, you couldn’t tell any difference. That’s about what we got today. Really determined to be right on the point of all the calls and execution of the plays on the field today. He did really well.”