The seventh-round pick out of LSU took the backup snaps during the portion of Monday afternoon's practice that was open to reporters, while second-round pick Brian Brohm lined up as part of an offense-only defense running the Minnesota Vikings' schemes.
Even though Brohm got considerably more snaps than Flynn until the reps were split late in training camp, Flynn outplayed Brohm during the four preseason games. He had a passer rating of 100.2, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Brohm's rating was 45.2, with no touchdowns and one interception. Brohm led the offense to just three points, and that was set up by a turnover.
"Now's the time when your reps are limited," McCarthy said after Monday's practice. "The ability to keep splitting them, we didn't feel was in the best interests (of the team). It would have been in the best interests of the group, but I wanted to be sure we gave one of the individuals an opportunity to get ready. We just felt Matt was a little more productive than Brian in the preseason, but it's a competition that will continue."
Flynn downplayed his promotion. The hard work, after all, isn't done.
"It's a good opportunity, and I'm very thankful for it," Flynn said. "Just got to continue to progress and get better as a quarterback and get myself prepared each week for the games."
McCarthy compared Flynn to Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, who was an undrafted free agent from Southwest Louisiana. Before Delhomme led the Panthers to a Super Bowl, McCarthy worked with him in New Orleans.
"He plays the game with an edge. He's aggressive. Some people refer to it as moxie," McCarthy said. "I liked his mechanics, I liked his athletic ability. I always look for things in that nature from an ability standpoint of someone you can work with and develop, and then as you go through the process and watch him play games, we tend to forget he won a national championship at LSU last year."
McCarthy hinted Brohm has taken a step back mechanically from his stellar play at Louisville, but the team is far from giving up on a player who threw for almost 10,000 yards and tossed 65 touchdown passes during his final three seasons.
"He's been put in some tough spots, but that's football," McCarthy said. "That's preseason football. We coach them that way. It's not going to be clean like you'd like it."
Part of that was Brohm thinking too much instead of playing with the instincts that come with being the son of a quarterback and the brother of former NFL quarterback Jeff Brohm.
"The ball wasn't coming out of his hand consistently, and I think he was just trying to do everything right, instead of just playing," McCarthy said. "I saw him do those things in Tennessee. Throughout the preseason, Brian has improved, for whatever the statistics are or whatever the opinions are, there's improvement in Brian Brohm's play as he's moved through the preseason. For as ugly as some situations he was in in the Tennessee game, frankly I probably put him in some spots trying to call some plays for the quarterback as opposed to calling plays for who was on the field, and I think that did not help."
Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org