Bart Starr's biggest problem as a coach is replacing Bart Starr as a quarterback.
That and recovering from the draft choices unsuccessfully used to try to-solve the problem by starr's predecessor as coach, Dan Devine.
Starr hopes he has the solution with David Whitehurst, whom he drafted on the eight round from Furman University.
Whitehurst made his first start as a rookie in 1977 against the Redskins here and will open against them at RFK Stadium on Friday night.
The Redskins won last season's regular season game, 10-9, but Whitehurst exhibited unusual poise in the nationally televised game and went on to lead Green Bay a split of its next four games in a 4-10 season.
Whitehurst got his opportunity in 1977 because seven-season veteran Lynn Dickey suffered a broken leg on the final play of a loss Los Angeles.
The fracture did not knit well and a month ago a plate that was irritating tissue was removed. Now, Dickey is on the "physically unable to perform" list until Oct. 8.
The irony at the quarterback position is pointed up because with Starr at the controls under Vince Lombardi, the Packers won two straight Super Bowls and five National Football Conference titles, including three in a row.
Looking toward eventually replacing Starr, Lombardi drafted Don Horn on the first round.
Devine drafted Jerry Tagge on the first round; gave up two No. 2 picks in a trade for Jim Del Gazio; a No. 3 in a trade for Dean Carlson; a No. 5 in a trade for Jack Concannon; two No. 1's, two No. 2's and a No. 3 for John Hadl.
In effect, Devine's legacy wiped out the Packers for two years in the draft while Starr was trying to rebuild.
Starr traded Hadl, cornerback Ken Ellis, and a No. 3 and a No. 4 draft choice for Dickey in 1976.
The Packers lost their first exhibition, 17-14, to the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend but Whitehurst hit on 11 of 19 passes and free agent back-up quarterback Neil Graff four of seven, for an aggregate of 171 yards.
Green Bay had to throw in 1977 because it had trouble running the ball and not much offense resulted, with only 134 points being scored.
The Packers had two No. 1 choices for the 1977 and 1978 seasons and in the recent draft they picked first James Lofton of Stanford, a wide receiver who may become the deep threat. He is competing with 5-foot-8 speedster Steve Odom.
Ollie Smith, a four-season veteran, will be Whitehurst's other wide receiver and the tight end will be eight-season veteran Rich McGeorge.
Half back Terdell Middleton is an outside threat with 4.4 speed at 40 yards. The former Memphis State hurdler ran back a kickoff handoff 85 yards for a touchdown last season.
Barty Smith, four-season veteran from Richmond, is the fullback.
Chester Marcol made good on five of six field goals beyond 40 yards in 1977 and he kicked three-pointers for all the points in the 10-9 loss at Washington.
Some of the offense's problems may be attributable to the fact that Starr used three of his four No. 1 draft choices in the last two years for defensive players - outside linebacker John Anderson of Michigan in 1978 and defensive ends Mike Butler of Kansas (and Coolidge High) and Ezra Johnson of Morris-Brown in 1977. Johnson weighs 240 and is 6-foot-4, but has been timed at 4.5 for 40 yards.
In 1976, Starr drafted an offensive tackle on the first round), Mark Kon-car, and last week acquired veteran offensive tackle Tim Stokes from the Redskins.
It is because of the hoped-for development of his acquisitions that Starr says he still "thoroughly enjoys" coaching, despite not having won more than five games in three years.
To people who say "Bart must be in trouble" the executive committee of the Packers notes that it already has extended his original three-year contract two years, through 1979.