Category Archives: Matt Flynn

8

October

Raiders Release Matt Flynn: The Packers Should Bring Him Back

In a bit of shocking news that shouldn’t surprise anyone (as paradoxical as that sounds), the Oakland Raiders have released Matt Flynn after being demoted to 3rd string after a dismal showing against the Washington Redskins, who Packers fans are quite aware are currently fielding one of the worst defense this year.  The shocking bit is that the Raiders traded for Flynn with the Seahawks this offseason and brought over his $6.5 million guaranteed salary for 2014.  While this might not seem like much for a potential starting quarterback, keep in mind this is the Oakland Raiders, who have been so marred by the salary cap left behind by Al Davis that they literally needed to pinch every penny this year just to stay cap compliant.  So while Flynn’s performance certainly has justified his release, his contract (in context with the Raiders) make him prohibitively expense to let go.

Of course, Matt Flynn is still remembered by Packers fans as the guy with the lumberjack beard who managed to break all sorts of records against the Lions in 2011 and had a pretty good showing against a dominant New England Patriots defense in 2010.  Packers fans will also be quick to point out the disaster of an offseason where Graham Harrell never progressed, BJ Coleman got worse and Vince Young never figured it out.  In the end, the Packers settled on Seneca Wallace, who has experience but is essentially an unknown as he hasn’t appeared on the field.  I’m sure a lot of fans are hoping that the Packers sign back Flynn, bring back some known stability and maybe even resuscitate a career that’s been blown off course.  On the other hand, many fans will be quick to point out that Flynn was unable to beat either Wilson or Pyror despite coming into the season as the starter and in his brief showings with the Seahawks and Raiders looked out of place and unable to lead his team.

4

September

Does Ben McAdoo deserve blame for Packers’ backup QB blunder?

Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was appointed to his role in 2012, despite having no prior experience at the position.

Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was appointed to his role in 2012, despite having no prior experience at the position.

When the Miami Dolphins hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their head coach in 2012, Tom Clements was promoted to offensive coordinator, leaving the team’s quarterbacks coach position vacant.

Ben McAdoo, who served under head coach Mike McCarthy in each of his previous two tenures with New Orleans and San Francisco, had experience coaching various offensive positions at the professional level. But prior to changing roles in 2012, McAdoo had no experience, at any level, working directly with the quarterback position.

Shortly after Philbin’s departure, Aaron Rodgers, who has given Clements a great deal of credit for his ascension to the NFL elite, was asked by Jason Wilde about how their relationship would change if Clements were, in fact, no longer his position coach.

“I don’t see our relationship changing a whole lot. I think if he were to get the coordinator job, he’d still want to spend some time with the quarterbacks,” Rodgers said. “I would guess they would look for someone to be the quarterbacks coach. I know when Tom originally got hired, that one of the names that Mike was interested in was Billy Joe Tolliver.”

Tolliver, whose playing career ended in 2001 after being beaten out by Doug Pederson in a competition to be Brett Favre’s backup, has never coached at the NFL level. However, Rodgers’ assumption that the team would look to a former quarterback to fill Clements’ role as the position coach suggests that he’d prefer to have a coach who has played the position.

Clements quarterbacked Notre Dame to a National Championship in 1973, finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1974 and played professionally for more than a decade, bouncing between the CFL and NFL. But with a quarterback-savvy head coach in McCarthy, along with an offensive coordinator (Clements) who had served as the team’s quarterbacks coach for seven seasons, the Packers opted to promote McAdoo to quarterbacks coach.

Prior to the move, McAdoo had spent the previous six years in Green Bay as the team’s tight ends coach.

The Packers are no strangers to making curious promotions on their coaching staff; wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett played running back in the NFL for eight seasons, running backs coach Alex Van Pelt played 11 seasons as an NFL quarterback, and tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot also coached tight ends in Green Bay despite a 16-year playing career at center.

25

October

Around the NFC North in Week 8

Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North in week 8

Week 8 is upon us which means the season is almost half over!  Let’s take a look around the NFC North and at the matchups to come.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-2)

This game kicks off NFL’s week 8 as the Thursday night matchup.  It’s a rare meeting between these two teams since the Bucs left the old NFC Central and became part of the NFC South.  Tampa has won the last three with the most recent being last season.

Minnesota comes in a surprising 5-2.   They beat the Arizona Cardinals behind a good defensive performance and with the continued contribution of RB Adrian Peterson.  Tampa had seemingly pulled off a last-second TD by QB Josh Freeman for the win over the New Orleans Saints but the catch was later ruled invalid.  Tampa dropped to 2-4.

Anytime a team is working on a short week, it adds an additional challenge for teams to prepare and for players to get past the bumps and bruises from the week prior.  Both teams are fortunate that they are not dealing with many health issues at the moment.

The Vikings have been winning with defense this season.  They had nine sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown this past Sunday by their top rookie S Harrison Smith.  And having struggled offensively over the past few weeks, Minnesota was able to muster two scores on a vintage run by Peterson and a Christian Ponder pass to Percy Harvin.  Harvin leads the NFL with 53 catches.  The Vikings lethargic offense may get a jumpstart this week as they face a Tampa defense that ranks 25th overall.

Tampa has had a hard time keeping up with their opposition this year, largely due to the 329 passing yards they are giving up each week.  If Minnesota’s struggles in the passing game continue and they go heavy in the run game, it may benefit the Tampa defense as they are surrendering just 76 yards/game on the ground.  Of course, they are facing the elite Adrian Peterson and a Vikings ground attack that is averaging just over 130 yards/game.  How Tampa counters the Viking rush attack will be a key in this game.

The Vikings are winning games and are at home on a short week.  I give them the edge.

24

September

Week 3 Key Matchups: Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Packers Aaron Rodgers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers looks for a tough road win in Seattle

Week 3 is here and it’s time to look at some of the key matchups in the Monday Night game featuring the Green Bay Packers at the Seattle Seahawks.  On paper, this has the makings of an evenly-matched contest that will likely come down to who wins the turnover battle.

The Packers are the better overall team but CenturyLink Field and their raucous crowd, aka the 12th man in Seattle, has turned many super powers into chumps.  Let’s take a look at what I see as the keys to who comes out of this one with the “W”.

Russell Wilson vs. the Packer front 7

Rookie QB Russell Wilson won the starting job in training camp over newly acquired and former Green Bay Packer Matt Flynn.  Many were surprised as it seemed Flynn was the clear-cut choice to start after deciding to leave Green Bay where he had become a solid backup QB and had that monster game in week 17 of last season.

Flynn signed a hefty free agent contract with Seattle and was on his way but he finds himself, once again, on the sideline carrying the clipboard.  Wilson played very well during the preseason.  He was 35-of-52 (67.3%) for 464 yds, 5 TDs and just 1 INT.  Wilson also had 10 rushes for 150 yds and a TD.  That was enough to put him under center when the Seahawks opened the 2012 season.

Wilson has, at times, played beyond the typical rookie tendencies.   In watching the game vs. the Dallas Cowboys last week, Wilson was fundamentally sound and well-composed against a pretty good Cowboy pass rush.  He plays within the system and we can’t forget all of the success Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll had at USC with his quarterbacks.  Wilson is not even a full year removed from his playing days at the University of Wisconsin and is still on the low end of his NFL learning curve.

Carroll has helped assemble a team and created an offensive system that doesn’t put it all on Wilson’s back.  Very composed and with a good pocket presence, Wilson is proving to be a key to the defensive game plan.  He plays it safe for the most part, and takes what the defense gives him.  Many of his completions last week were shorter routes with a few shots downfield.  Those high percentage throws can prove detrimental to the defense.  If Wilson is able to sustain long drives and tire the Packer defense, it will shift favor toward the Seattle side.

9

August

Packers – Chargers Preseason Preview: Answers Are Coming

Aaron Rodgers

The Packers open up the 2012 preseason tonight against the Chargers

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re here.  Green Bay Packers football is back.

Yes it’s only the preseason opener, but after a long offseason and a few weeks of the Packers playing against the Packers in training camp the Green and Gold finally get to face off against someone in a uniform of a different color.

Tonight the Packers face off against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in the first of four exhibition games.   Last season, the Packers beat the Chargers 45-38 in Week 9 to move to 8-0 on the year.  The Packers nearly blew the game in the fourth quarter but hung on for the win.

With starters for both teams only expected to see only a few series of action, this is a game in which the second and third string units get a chance to shine and prove that they belong on the roster when the regular season kicks off in earnest on September 9.

The Packers face a plethora of questions as they begin to shape their opening day roster.  Will they keep six wide receivers? How about the tight ends?  Who will be starting at cornerback opposite Tramon Williams with Charles Woodson now at safety in the base defense?  Will the pass rush be improved?

Those questions and more have been at the forefront of Packer fans’ minds all offseason and tonight’s game is only the first small step towards answering them.

Here are some things to watch as the Packers open the 2012 preseason:

The corner battle:  Many a fan shuddered when the Packers released their initial depth chart and showed Jarrett Bush as the starter opposite Williams.  Bush is known as a decent special teams player but has been shaky to say the least in pass protection.  After Sam Shields’ well documented struggles in 2011, Bush is the next man up to take a shot at the starting job vacated by Woodson’s move to safety.

The questioning entering this (and the following) preseason game is how Bush will hold up.  He faces a challenge in Philip Rivers and his cast of receivers.  Even though Vincent Jackson is no longer on the roster, Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal should give Bush a chance to show off his skills in pass coverage.

8

August

How Much To Get Matt Flynn Back on the Packers?

Seattle Seahawk QB Matt Flynn

Seattle Seahawk QB Matt Flynn

While not exactly Packers news, I don’t think there are many readers of AllGreenBayPackers.com who aren’t at least a little bit interested in one Matt Flynn, who parlayed a couple solid games (including a spectacular week 17 game against Detroit) into a stepping stone to a NFL starting quarterback.  Most fans were sad to see Flynn go, who might have been the best backup quarterback in the league, but with the demand for quarterbacks as high as it is in the NFL, many fans were happy with the compensatory pick that Flynn would likely net the Packers.

Fast forward a couple months, and the story is quite different; Flynn was signed to a lucrative contract, but nothing remotely close the deal many were expecting; I was the first to assume that Flynn would get something in the ball park of Kevin Kolb, another backup with lots of potential but not a lot of tape, who had received a 6-year $65 million contract, but Flynn got a 3 year, $19.5 million deal instead.

Also inexplicably, the Seahawks front office has decided the best way for Flynn to get used to his new team is to throw him into a quarterback competition with Tavaris Jackson (who realistically is first trying to make the team) and 3rd round rookie Russell Wilson (also signing Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards makes little sense to me either).  To me this means that Seattle isn’t all too confident in Flynn’s abilities, which is understandable considering Flynn played with some of the best offensive talent in the NFL and didn’t play all that much to boot (then again Seattle did pretty well with another Packers backup in a similar situation named Matt Hassellbeck).

With all this in mind, one interesting question is: Could the Packers get Flynn back?  While he might not be a starter, I would say that he’s definitely capable of playing at a high enough level to cover for any Aaron Rodgers injuries and probably win a fair share of his games as well.

Here are the specifics of Flynn’s deal:

v Base: 3-year, $19.5 million total

  • $10 million guaranteed (divided into three parts)
    • $6 million signing bonus
    • 2012 salary ($2 million total)
    • $2 million of his 2013 salary ($5.25 million total)
  • Additional $5 million of escalators
4

August

The Doomsday Scenario: Are The Green Bay Packers Prepared?

Is QB Graham Harrell truly prepared to lead the Packers over multiple games?

When Matt Flynn left for a shot at the starting quarterback job with the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason, one question immediately rushed to the forefront for Green Bay Packers fans.

Is Graham Harrell ready?

The answer was hotly debated from the day Flynn signed with Seattle and through mini-camp and OTAs with no definitive answer. The Packers reportedly at least considered a trade for Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy during the NFL Draft, but apparently decided that Harrell deserved a clear shot at the backup job.

Now that training camp is underway, Harrell’s prospects as the Packers’ second string quarterback may finally be clearing up.

The early reviews seem to be leaning towards  the idea that while he hasn’t done anything to change coach Mike McCarthy’s mind as far as penciling him in as the number two, he still has plenty of room to grow.  With rookie BJ Coleman showing some promise with his arm but having issues with accuracy, it seems like Harrell has the job by default.

In the NFL,  players need to actually win the job and not take it by default.  This raises the question: Are the Packers truly prepared for a doomsday scenario in Rodgers not only goes down, but goes down for a long time and they have to ride with their backup for more than one or two games?

The answer is doubtful. If the Packers’ offense is a sports car, then Rodgers is the engine.  Remove the engine and the car is going nowhere.  Could the Packers really insert Harrell as the leader of the offense and expect the same ridiculous point production they have had under Rodgers the past two seasons, especially given the way the defense performed last season? No way.

McCarthy and his staff are the best in the business at coaching and developing quarterbacks.  They took Flynn, a seventh round draft pick, and molded him into an NFL starter.  This is not to say that they couldn’t do the same with Flynn, but bear in mind Flynn played for LSU in the SEC and Harrell played for Texas Tech.  Though Flynn was taken just before he was looking at the possibility of being an undrafted free agent, Harrell has been considered a bigger “project” at the position than Flynn was.