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Communication, flow and a few takeaways could help Brett Hundley

Brett Hundley's success will depend on the entire Packers offense getting into a better rhythm. Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Hundley isn't alone. It only seems that he's the one solely responsible for replacing Aaron Rodgers.

The job of quarterback isn't done by committee, but the Green Bay Packers also don't plan to throw Hundley to the wolves -- or, in this case, the New Orleans Saints -- in his first NFL start on Sunday without a proper support group.

Hundley's uneven performance Sunday after Rodgers broke his collarbone is behind him, a lesson learned. It's now all about how the Packers can help their new quarterback keep their old hopes of a championship season alive.

"Well, he needs to turn it. I mean, he needs to turn it up," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Hundley. "There's no doubt about it. The whole team needs to turn it up. I told them, everybody needs to clean their house up right now, I don't like the way it looks.

"Brett's no different than the rest of us, starting with myself, so yeah, we'll spend more time together -- I'm going to meet with him [Wednesday] night once we get the game planning done. We're looking forward to the challenge."

Here's a look at how the Packers can take some of the burden off Hundley:

Talk and listen

Hundley's best chance for success might be to listen to his offensive line and receivers. If he can make the correct protection calls and understand what routes his pass-catchers think will work, then perhaps the offense can recover.

When asked what he can do to help Hundley, Packers center Corey Linsley said: "Talk."

"Get in his head and he can get in mine and get on the same page," Linsley added. "That's what it's like with Aaron. You've got to know what he's doing and you've got to know what he's thinking in certain situations. Otherwise, you're going to be lost. It's the same thing. As long as I know what Brett's thinking and we're all on the same page, we can move forward."

The offensive line's state of flux will add to the challenge. It might take the entire week to know whether left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring), left guard Lane Taylor (ankle, knee) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (concussion) can play.

It's the same story with receivers Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. Hundley might be more comfortable with the backup receivers since he has repped with them more during practice and preseason games.

"I think we've got to get comfortable with Brett; Brett's got to get comfortable with us now, which I think he will," said Nelson, who has caught 65 of his 69 career touchdown passes from Rodgers. "The backup quarterback's not a great situation to come in in the middle of a game. I don't know how many reps he takes in a week, but it's not very many with the [first-team] because we're obviously out there with Aaron. That'll change this week and going forward. We'll get comfortable with him. The coaches will get comfortable with him because obviously he's going to play the game different than Aaron. We've got to figure out what he wants and go from there."

Said Adams, who caught Hundley's first career touchdown pass on Sunday at Minnesota: "His ears are open, listening to me, Jordy and Randall."

Establish a 'flow'

This is where McCarthy comes in. His game planning meetings on Monday and Tuesday were focused on Hundley's strengths as opposed to last Sunday's game, when McCarthy had to adjust from Rodgers to his new quarterback on the fly.

"I've got to do a better job; I've got to get Brett into a flow," McCarthy said. "More importantly, we've got to get our offense into a flow."

That could start with the running game. McCarthy tried a rotation of Ty Montgomery one series and Aaron Jones the next against the Vikings, and neither got into a rhythm. Jones averaged 3.2 yards on 13 carries, Montgomery 2.8 yards on 10 carries.

"We didn't run the ball very well," McCarthy said. "Our pass protection was a negative. We didn't handle basic blitzes that they came with. We need to get that shored up, and then the passing game will come. We've got to play cleaner football."

Defensive assistance

Although defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Rodgers' injury won't drastically change his approach, his Pro Bowl safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could think of something the defense can do to help Hundley.

"Create more opportunities for him," Clinton-Dix said. "Get off the field on third down. Give him more chances with the ball in his hand to get him comfortable back there. I think that's one of the most important things to do, is get him back the ball."

That's how the Packers scored all 10 of their points against the Vikings. Hundley threw a 14-yard touchdown pass after Clay Matthews returned a fumble 63 yards to the Minnesota 18. Green Bay added a field goal after Damarious Randall returned an interception 14 yards to the Vikings' 38-yard line.

"Once he got comfortable, I think he did a great job of staying poised and working with what he had," Clinton-Dix said.