Spotlight goes from Rodgers to backups

Brohm and Flynn had some rough moments on Monday, but are defended by McCarthy.

The intense spotlight will remain on the quarterback for the Packers' preseason finale against Tennessee, though it won't be on Aaron Rodgers this time.

Rookies Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn will pilot the offense for much of the game. As has been the case since they were drafted, they are the sole backups to Rodgers, and Thursday is their opportunity to do what they haven't done: seize the No. 2 role.

Neither helped his case on Monday, though coach Mike McCarthy defended them after practice.

"It takes time, so if it's not up to somebody else's standards, I can't control that," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I am very happy with what I see."

Brohm and Flynn each directed a two-minute drill on Monday, with Brohm throwing a desperation touchdown pass and Flynn failing to pick up a first down.

On both occasions, the offense trailed by four points and got the ball at their 40-yard line with 1:19 remaining and one timeout.

Brohm completed 4-of-7 passes (one was a drop and one was a clock-killing spike). On third down from the defense's 22, Brohm rolled to his right with the clock expiring and threw the ball across the field, where rookie receiver Taj Smith beat rookie corner Patrick Lee to the ball just across the goal line.

Flynn, on the other hand, went 0-for-3 and was sacked.

While Brohm got the best of that drill, he fumbled a snap later and was pulled from the lineup in favor of Flynn.

Brohm had a pass deflected at the line of scrimmage that he caught. Both were picked off twice in red-zone drills, and Flynn threw it right to Abdul Hodge while getting blitzed in 11-on-11s for another interception.

While the outside world seems displeased with the rookies' progress — Brohm's passer rating is 35.8 while Flynn is averaging just 4.6 yards per attempt — McCarthy doesn't seem to be in that group.

"They'll continue to get better, and that's the most important thing," he said. "They need reps, they need to play in games, and that's why we'll try to get them as many opportunities as we possibly can this Thursday against Tennessee."

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and E-mail him at

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