Flynn makes a pass at No. 2 job

Seventh-round pick Matt Flynn outplays second-round pick Brian Brohm in the preseason opener

Packers coach Mike McCarthy called Monday night's preseason game at "starting point" for his rookie quarterbacks.

If that's the case, it's been a track and field-style staggered start, with second-round pick Brian Brohm taking the bulk of the leftover reps not allotted to starter Aaron Rodgers.

Seventh-round pick Matt Flynn, however, made up some ground during Monday night's preseason game against Cincinnati. While Brohm threw an interception on his first pass and failed to lead the offense to a score, Flynn threw a touchdown pass.

While neither rookie quarterback lit the world on fire and Flynn probably didn't do enough to throw a serious scare into presumed backup Brohm, McCarthy acknowledged the pecking order isn't set in stone.

"Competition's through our whole football team," McCarthy said. "The quarterback position has obviously changed. Experience is not the strength, like it has been here in the past. So, we have a lot of work to do."

Flynn replaced Brohm with 5:27 remaining in the third quarter. He finished 12-of-21 passing for 97 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions. His 84.8 passer rating was tops on the team.

"I had a good time out there," said Flynn, who was sacked on his first snap. "It's been a long time since I've played, and it was fun to get out under the lights and get some live bullets thrown at you. No matter what level it is, it's just football. There's a lot of bigger, faster, stronger guys out there, but it's just football when it comes down to it. You've got to read defenses and make plays."

Trailing 20-10 with 6:14 remaining in the game, Flynn guided a 12-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a screen pass that Kregg Lumpkin ran 11 yards into the end zone. Flynn completed 5-of-9 passes on the drive, converting a fourth-and-4, a third-and-3 and a third-and-6 along the way.

Flynn got one more opportunity to drive the Packers to a tying or winning score, but on his fourth consecutive completion, Lumpkin fumbled the ball away.

"We had a chance to win it and just came up short. But, a couple drives before that, I made some mistakes that probably ended some drives earlier than we would have liked," Flynn said. "So, we had a chance, and obviously I'm very disappointed we didn't win and we didn't do what we needed to do."

While Flynn had some success moving the Packers, the highly touted Brohm struggled. His first pass was intercepted, though tight end Tory Humphrey took the blame by staying into block rather than running his route.

In five possessions, Brohm moved the Packers to six first downs and 90 yards.

"Overall, I felt like I did a pretty good job," Brohm said. "Just the mechanics of the offense, getting in and out of the huddle, getting from run to pass checks and pass to run checks, doing those things the right way. Most of time, I felt like I went to the right place with the ball. Obviously, there are a few times where I made mistakes and went to the wrong place and may have forced one in there on the first play. But after that, I felt pretty good about the way things were going."

Brohm finished 8-for-17 passing for 70 yards with an interception. His passer rating was just 33.9. On the plus side, he was the only Packers quarterback to not get sacked.

"I wasn't really surprised that much out there," Brohm said. "Felt pretty good about the overall performance. Got pretty comfortable once we got going. That initial time in there, I was pretty amped up to be out in Lambeau Field and playing football, but kind of got those jitters out and I felt pretty comfortable once I got going."

McCarthy was noncommittal about whether Brohm remained the clear-cut No. 2 quarterback. And there's always a chance the Packers will see a veteran backup should neither Brohm nor Flynn prove up to the task.

"We knew coming into the preseason, that we had a lot of work to do there," McCarthy said of his rookie quarterbacks.

Whether Flynn gets a chance to be the No. 2 or he's banished to the practice squad by a seasoned veteran, Flynn said the possibilities wouldn't affect how he goes about his job.

"My mind-set's being the best quarterback I can be," said Flynn, who led LSU to the national title last season. "I can't control what anyone does, I can't control what the coaches do. I've just got to go and improve every day in practice and improve every game and play the best football I can, because I believe my best football's in front of me."

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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