QB battle won't faze Flynn

At LSU, Matt Flynn backed up JaMarcus Russel. In Green Bay, Flynn is the No. 3 quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers and Brian Brohm, who was drafted 153 picks ahead of him.

As the rookie camp transitions to this month's OTAs, which roll into June's minicamp, which leads to training camp at the end of July, the quarterbacks focus will be on Aaron Rodgers, as he replaces a legend, and Brian Brohm, the second-round draft pick.

The focus won't be on Matt Flynn. That won't bother the seventh-round pick, who was selected 153 picks and 20 hours after Brohm.

"I don't get intimidated very easily," Flynn said at the rookie orientation camp that concluded Sunday."I never have, really. I've always had an inner confidence in myself."

Not to mention a lot of patience and a superb work ethic.

Waiting behind Rodgers and, presumably, Brohm, will be nothing new for Flynn. He has spent plenty of time in the shadows during his football career. At LSU, he was part of the same recruiting class as JaMarcus Russell.

"I think going in, he can be a No. 2 right away. He can learn immediately without taking a lot of reps," LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton told The Dallas Morning News before the draft. "He got experience playing behind JaMarcus Russell, and I think his best football is ahead of him. The more experience he gets, the better he'll be."

Russell was the star with the monster arm who was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007. Flynn watched from the sideline until last season, when he merely guided the Tigers to the national championship.

Flynn was selected with the 209th pick of the draft. Surprisingly, history has shown quality quarterbacks can be found late in the draft, especially by the Packers.

In 2005, Cleveland selected Derek Anderson at No. 213.

In 1998, Green Bay selected Matt Hasselbeck at No. 187.

In 1993, San Francisco selected Elvis Grbac at No. 219. Moments later, San Diego selected Trent Green at No. 222.

In 1992, Minnesota selected Brad Johnson at No. 227, and Green Bay selected Ty Detmer at No. 230.

In 1987, the Packers struck again with Don Majkowski at No. 255.

The crown jewels of late quarterback gems are Tom Brady and Bart Starr. Brady went in the sixth round — at No. 199 — to New England in 2000. Brady owns three Super Bowl rings and already is regarded as one of the top few quarterbacks in NFL history. Starr was a 17th-round selection in 1956, No. 200 overall, and led the Packers to five world championships.

Flynn won't wow anybody with his stats or his stature,. He's only 6-foot-2, he doesn't have a big-time arm and his technique is a little funky. As a senior, he completed only 56.3 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He wasn't even an honorable mention on the all-Southeastern Conference football team.

But, he's tough. He played five games with a plastic cast to protect a bum ankle, he separated a shoulder against Arkansas and the option was a staple of the Tigers' offense. He's clutch — recall his last-second touchdown heave that beat Auburn, and his four-TD, MVP performance in the national championship rout of Ohio State.

And, obviously, he's a winner.

Most likely, Flynn will be back on the bench this season as the No. 3 quarterback or perhaps on the practice squad if the Packers elect to sign a veteran backup. Either way, he'll be the ideal teammate for Rodgers and Brohm.

"It's kind of the same situation me and JaMarcus were in," Flynn said. "Brian is very talented. We're going to be pushing each other and it's going to make both of us better."

Steve Lawrence is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com


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