Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Matt Flynn provides important insurance
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If the Green Bay Packers do nothing else at the quarterback position this offseason, at least they know they have someone who has proven he can win games as a backup.
That is a better situation than they were in a year ago, when they had no clue whether Graham Harrell or B.J. Coleman could function with a meaningful NFL game on the line.
And it's a better situation than they were in in September, when they broke training camp by cutting Harrell, Coleman and Vince Young.
By re-signing veteran quarterback Matt Flynn on Tuesday, the Packers renewed an insurance policy that paid off last season after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. Flynn came back on Nov. 12 after failing to win starting jobs with the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders (and following a brief stint with the Buffalo Bills).
Just 12 days later, he rallied the Packers to a comeback tie against the Minnesota Vikings and went 2-2 in his next four starts to keep the Packers in playoff contention before Rodgers returned to win the regular-season finale -- and NFC North title -- against the Chicago Bears.
Whatever Flynn's shortcomings were (likely a lack of arm strength and an unfamiliarity with new offenses) when he got his chances in Seattle and Oakland, he has proven to be comfortable and effective in Green Bay, where he began his career in 2008 and still holds a share of the team’s single-game passing yards record (480 against the Detroit Lions in the 2011 regular-season finale, a mark Rodgers tied in Week 2 last season against the Washington Redskins).
Perhaps the Packers won't need Flynn or they will decide Scott Tolzien is a better option after he goes through coach Mike McCarthy's offseason program for the first time. But for now, they don't have to worry about the unknown that came with Coleman, who never caught on with another team; or Harrell, who, coincidentally on Tuesday, was hired as an assistant coach at Washington State, according to media reports.