Green Bay Packers: In Like Flynn Again at Quarterback

Bob FoxContributor IApril 16, 2014

Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn (10) celebrates in front of Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) after the game wining touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. The Packers won 37-36.  (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)
Tim Sharp

Yes, quarterback Matt Flynn is back with the Packers. It was reported on Tuesday that Flynn had re-signed with the Packers by a number of people in the media, including NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, but Flynn's agent confirmed the signing to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday.

What a difference a year makes for the Packers concerning their quarterback depth.

Last year at this time, the backups to starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers were Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman.

Head coach Mike McCarthy stood by his backups during OTAs and minicamps, but once training camp started, he realized that the situation was not very good and that more competition was needed. At that point, the Packers brought in veteran Vince Young.

None of the three quarterbacks impressed McCarthy enough to be kept on the roster at the end of camp, so the Packers cleaned the slate and brought in veteran Seneca Wallace to back up Rodgers. They also signed former Wisconsin Badger Scott Tolzien to the practice squad.

Rodgers fractured his clavicle in Week 9 versus the Bears, and Wallace became the starter. But not for long.

Just a week after Rodgers was injured, Wallace suffered a groin injury that basically ended his season.

The Packers by then had brought Tolzien up from the practice squad, and he was now the new starting quarterback.

The Packers also brought back Flynn as a backup, who had backed up No. 12 in Green Bay from 2008-2011.

The Packers were 5-2 before the meeting with the Bears in which Rodgers was injured. The team had lost two games in a row after that to the Eagles and Giants and were down by 16 points to the Vikings at home under a struggling Tolzien.

McCarthy went to Flynn at that point. Flynn rallied the Packers to at least gain a tie that day against the Vikings.

Flynn struggled against the Lions on Thanksgiving, but he played very well down the stretch, as he led the Packers to two heart-stopping comeback victories over the Falcons and Cowboys and almost did the same thing against the Steelers.

Flynn basically saved the season for Green Bay, as he put the Packers in position to win the NFC North in Week 17 when Rodgers was finally able to return against the Bears.

That's why it was so important to bring Flynn back. He has a proven track record of success as a backup to Rodgers in Green Bay.

If you look at his career stats, it's very obvious that playing in Green Bay under McCarthy's offensive system agrees with him.

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 08: Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass the football during the first half of play against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field on December 08, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Ima
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

In his five years as a Packer, Flynn has thrown for 2,161 yards with 16 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. That adds up to a quarterback rating of 89.1.

If you also look at what he did in his time in Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo, you see a stark difference in performance.

Scout Chris Landry told me why Flynn is successful in Green Bay and not in other places:

"He has greater familiarity with that offense. They get the ball out of his hand quicker. And the routes are more conducive. The short and medium routes are more conducive to him having success. He doesn't have a real good arm. So in other offenses where they try to do more with him, and he has to create and make plays, that's not what he does.

"In Green Bay's offense, it's the plays, particularly when he's in there. Obviously with Aaron [Rodgers], there's more flexibility, and they can branch out that offense more. But that offense is very set to guys getting open, and the route concepts are clearly defined when they break it off, and he [Flynn] can use his timing and his accuracy to be more effective."

Bottom line, the Packers now have a proven backup in Flynn behind Rodgers again. Plus, they also have Tolzien, who flashed a lot of potential at times last season when he got his limited opportunity.

The Packers will still probably add a fourth arm to the team, either late in the 2014 NFL draft or by signing an undrafted rookie quarterback.

But by re-signing Flynn, it means that drafting a quarterback in the upcoming draft is now not a major priority.