Might they go back to the well again?
The Packers talked shop with Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy on Thursday night.
"It was good," he said. "We just talked system, talked some X's and O's. That's something I really kind of enjoy. The best minds in the football game are the guys you're talking to. The coaches just know so much, they're so wise when it comes to the small things you can do to tweak a route or all those things. Visiting with their coaching staff last night briefly and their quarterback coach (Tom Clements), it was a great moment for me."
Neither coach Mike McCarthy nor general manager Ted Thompson talked as if they were shopping Matt Flynn, who won a national championship at LSU in 2007 before becoming a seventh-round pick in 2008. But Flynn's contract expires after the 2011 season, and considering how well he played against New England, it's common sense that he'd like to be a starter elsewhere in 2012.
Thus, regardless of what Thompson said on Friday, finding another developmental quarterback is imperative. In fact, the Packers have held formal interviews with at least four quarterbacks, Packer Report has learned, names and stories that we'll share at a later date.
McElroy (6-2, 220) suffered a broken hand near the index finger on his throwing hand during the Senior Bowl, so he will not be throwing here and probably will not be throwing at Alabama's pro day on March 9 because of what he called "extensive rehab" and tightness in the wrist.
"Originally after the (Senior Bowl), they said it was a fracture but they couldn't tell. So, we just decided to hold off a little longer, about three days, to see if anything showed up then. I went to Phoenix and got a second opinion (and it was) declared not a fracture. They said we don't need a cast, we'll just keep you out, you can go do whatever you want to do. Sit out a couple of weeks and see how it feels.
"Two weeks later, of course, you know me, I'm watching the clock counting the hours. I'm out there dropping back and throwing passes and the next thing I know, I can't throw a 5-yard hitch rout. And I've been able to throw one since seventh grade, whether you can believe it or not. I couldn't get it there. I couldn't grip it. That kind of threw up a red flag to say the least. I went and got an immediate MRI, and another X-ray revealed a fracture at the base of my second metacarpal. Disappointing. I wish I they would have caught it a little bit earlier." In many important ways, Flynn and McElroy are clones.
Most importantly for the Packers' purposes, both are winners, superb decision-makers and of high character. McElroy went 24-3 as a starter with 39 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions. As a senior, he was named the ESPN Academic All-American of the Year. He probably has more arm talent than Flynn at the same stage of their careers, though a hitch in McElroy's throwing motion will need a makeover by Clements or whoever winds up behind his quarterbacks coach. However, he said a West Coast scheme would match his skill-set best.
"Strengths is just my ability to prepare," he said. "I've played in the big game. That's definitely a strength. I've been successful in the big game. I've been fortunate to win at every level, I think that's a strength. These all being intangibles. As far as tangible assets and things you can measure? I'm fairly accurate, fairly efficient within my offense. I do exactly as my coaches told me to do, and that's protect the ball, get it into the playmaker's hands as soon as possible. Get us in the correct run play, pass play just do everything you can in order for us to be efficient as an offense and I've done a good job of that over the past two years. I just talk about those things for the most part.
"A lot of people kind of agree with my assessment. I'm fairly honest as far as the way I assess myself. Hopefully, I'll continue to get good feedback."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.