Cory’s Corner: Keep 3 QBs but Flynn is the Packers’ backup

Matt-Flynn.Lions.400

It’s surprising how much attention the No. 2 quarterback job for the Packers has gotten.

But then again, judging from last year’s injury-plagued season, it’s imperative that whoever backs up Aaron Rodgers has to be able to lead a world-class offense.

However, deciding on a backup isn’t the most important quarterback decision on this team. The most important judgment in terms of the Packers quarterbacks is simple: keep all three.

Matt Flynn is the 29-year-old tactician that owns a 3-4 starting record in his career. Those aren’t eyebrow-raising numbers by any means but he is a product of the green and gold. He was drafted in the 7th round in 2008 and coach Mike McCarthy was able to mold him into a potential starter that signed a three-year $26 million deal with Seattle. Obviously he lost the job to Russell Wilson but Flynn has a handle on the West Coast offense and is very smart.

Scott Tolzien is 0-1-1 as an NFL starter. In those games he has thrown three interceptions and zero touchdowns.
Scott Tolzien is 0-1-1 as an NFL starter. In those games he has thrown three interceptions and zero touchdowns.

Scott Tolzien is the 27-year-old guy that has always been good but not good enough. He bounced from San Diego and San Francisco before starting his first game last year with the Packers. He has proven that he is a precision passer by completing an unreal 72.9 percent of his passes in his last year at Wisconsin. And he’s gotten better since his Badger days — namely beefing up his arm strength and showing a knack for escapability.

Tolzien may have a longer shelf life but Flynn is the better backup option. It was Flynn that guided the Packers through the injury storm last year with back-to-back comeback wins that ultimately vaulted the Packers into the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

Tolzien can be the Packers’ next Doug Pederson, but in order for him to carve out a niche as the long-term No. 2 quarterback, there cannot be any doubt from competition. With the way that Tolzien has progressed the last two years, I expect him to grab the backup job next year and never look back. Flynn has been in the Green Bay offense since he became a pro and Tolzien is running this high-octane version very well.

Both Flynn and Tolzien are unrestricted free agents after this season. Flynn’s physical limitations are what will end his earning potential. The current one-year $1,068,125 contract could be the last pro football money he sees.

But just in terms of decision-making, owning the huddle and the confidence of McCarthy’s system, Flynn is the man for this year.

And because of Tolzien’s valuable ceiling, the Packers cannot let that commodity walk out the door either.

So, Ted Thompson and McCarthy may have to swallow hard but for the first time since 2008, the Packers not only should keep three quarterbacks — they must.

The Packers have a legion of weapons in place and if Rodgers goes down with an injury again, a significant drop-off will not take place in the next five to seven years if Tolzien channels his inner Doug Pederson.

Some people are still miffed at how Flynn played during the preseason, but be more impressed with how he orchestrated a win from the jaws of defeat in Dallas than his tentativeness in August.

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Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

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  • wendall

    Could be that Tolzien did not have enough time in the system last year to do better. This year he is obviously better with much better discion making skills. He was better last year, just did not know the system.

  • montana83

    This will probably be the coaches and TT biggest decision. Don’t be surprised if they let Flynn go due to not wanting to lose a player at another position to another team who they believe is more valuable..
    I am guessing they will think that Flynn won’t be signed by another team so let him go and resign him on the PS.
    Who knows. Find out soon enough.

    • marpag

      Don’t think Flynn is eligible for the PS.

      • marpag

        Oh, and I would take Tolzien anyway.

        In my mind it’s not so much a question of who is better, Flynn or Tolzien? You could make an argument for either, and they are close enough that it probably doesn’t make much difference.

        The bigger question is, “Do you tie up a roster spot with a third QB and let some other player go?”

  • billy

    So Flynns the backup…great, just don’t ask him to scramble, throw deep or try to throw a corner fade in the end zone cuz the guy who became a multi millionaire by playing well in one game can’t do it….hopefully neither one will have to ever play unless its a blowout…

  • turophile

    The problem last year was in not keeping either backup after TC, so they were scrambling for any scrub and no time to learn the complex system. The Packers do not have to keep three guys at QB. Tolzein has thoroughly outplayed Flynn in preseason. He should be QB2. I’d have cut Flynn and Goodson, hoped Goodson cleared waivers for the PS, and kept Banjo and Rolle instead. Flynn would then be a FA who would likely still be available if needed, later in the season.