Tag:Matt Flynn
Posted on: December 20, 2010 1:36 am

Don't blame Flynn, blame his coaches

D. Driver consoles M. Flynn after Green Bay's loss (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You can try to blame Matt Flynn for the way the Patriots-Packers game ended tonight. And you’re right, it did not look, um, professional.

Confusion across the entire offense. Flynn obviously not knowing what to do. The seconds ticking away. Every fiber in a Packers fan’s body screaming, “Snap the damn ball!” The last-second sack and fumble that ended the Patriots 31-27 victory and dispelled what would have been an outstanding win for Green Bay.

But this was not a failure by Flynn, who was outstanding throughout most of the game in his first career start. Playing against the Super Bowl favorite – though, mind you, also a team that doesn’t have a very good defense – Flynn had an impressive performance, completing 24 of 37 passes for 251 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

And the sack and fumble at the end of the game.

Yet, this was a failure of the coaching staff.

Here’s the scenario: the Packers were down by four but driving with less than a minute to play and no timeouts remaining. With 29 seconds to go, Flynn took the third-and-11 snap and fired a 10-yard pass to WR Donald Driver. He was tackled with 23 seconds to play.

And from there, nobody had any idea of what was happening. Flynn couldn’t get a play-call on the headset inside his helmet, and with only four seconds left, he finally took the snap. He was met by Patriots DL Tully Banta-Cain for the game-ending sack.

But here’s the thing:  how could Packers coach Mike McCarthy not have a play ready for Flynn assuming the third-down play didn’t make enough yards? How are two plays not called in the huddle? Especially, knowing that Flynn has almost no NFL experience, how does McCarthy allow that to happen?

Said Driver after the game, via our Rapid Reporter: "We had a second-down play called (for) after the spike, but we were a yard short so we just had to go with it."

But how does that make sense? Why would the Packers need a play called for after they clock the ball? If they stopped the clock, they would have had plenty of time to call a play for second down. No, what they needed was a fourth-down play-call, which they didn't have.

Here's what McCarthy said in his postgame presser:

Q: Mike, what about the two-minute drill, especially the last two plays? Did you think you could get off another play or two, or was it rushed?

MM: First of all, the third down completion, you have to find out if it’s first down or fourth down. So, it obviously takes time and the clock was running and I think it was 20 to 21. It got to a point, we were right at the point, if it was a first down that we would have clocked the play and we would have had a set play on second down. You know, it takes the referee time to, you know, make a decision. And it was a clear fourth and one, so you have to get up on the ball and take a shot at the end zone. I think it’s a very clear situation and I think Matt operated it properly in a three-man rush and they sacked us. So, the mechanics of it, I thought, was very well done by Matt Flynn.

Q: It looked like he was checking personnel, was there trying to change personnel on that last play?

MM: No, we were in zebra. We didn’t change personnel, he was just setting the formation. You know, you have to find out the down and distances first. You’re in a clock situation if it’s first down and you have to throw the ball in the end zone if it’s fourth down. And that was the communication that Matt was giving to the rest of the offense.

Flynn might take the blame for the late-game snafu, but it wasn’t his fault.

Yet, with the loss, the Packers, at 8-6, severely hurt their playoff chances. At this point, the Saints (10-4) and the Giants (9-5) have a hold on the Wild Card berths, and if the Bears beat the Vikings on Monday night, Green Bay would find itself two games behind Chicago in the NFC North.

That probably would be lethal to the Packers postseason chances.

And yeah, it’s unfair as hell that a sub-.500 squad from the NFC West will go to the playoffs ahead of Green Bay. But the Packers had their chances. Their quarterback just didn’t have enough experience. And their coach didn’t give him the chance to win the game.

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Posted on: December 18, 2010 1:14 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2010 4:14 pm

Packers rule out Rodgers for Sunday; Flynn starts

Posted by Will Brinson

It's Saturday, and the Packers have made their decision on starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers status as a starter. And they've ruled him out, naming Matt Flynn the starting quarterback.

This is great news (and it's via Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel) for everyone (unless you're a Packers fan desperate to beat the Patriots or previously wagered your mortgage on this game, thinking Rodgers would lead the Pack to an upset).

For the Packers, it shows that they're taking concussions seriously and that they want to make sure Rodgers' long-term health is their primary concern.

It also means that Rodgers recognizes the same thing regarding his long-term health. And it was probably pretty difficult to sit out against a high-riding Patriots team in a must-win situation for Green Bay, especially when it's on primetime, but he made the right call.

The single biggest problematic factor with brain injuries is repetition with a short timespan -- no single game is worth the long-term health of anyone, much less one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

On the football side of things, Matt Flynn should have his hands pretty full with a Patriots defense that's given up tons of yardage but confused opponents into coughing up lots of turnovers. Graham Harrell's been signed from the practice squad and Anthony Smith was placed on IR to make move for the former Texas Tech standout to move into a backup role.

Because it's hard to expect too much out of Flynn, and because the Pack will likely struggle in the run, it's going to be incumbent on Green Bay's defense to try and stop Tom Brady's offense. So, um, good luck with that.

Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview Packers-Patriots.

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Posted on: December 12, 2010 2:29 pm

Rodgers suffers concussion

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Packers backup QB Matt Flynn entered the game late in the first half of the Green Bay-Detroit contest after Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion following an 18-yard run.

Rodgers looked very woozy after getting hammered by Lions LB Landon Johnson. Rodgers didn’t slide on the play, and he was smacked in the head from the backside by Johnson.

Considering the Packers offense has been awful and they’re locked in a 0-0 tie with Detroit at halftime, this can’t be considered good news.

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Posted on: October 14, 2010 7:46 pm

Rodgers practices Thursday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Don’t be surprised if Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a concussion last week, gets the start this week vs. the Dolphins.

Though backup Matt Flynn took most of the first-team reps Wednesday, Rodgers returned Thursday and participated in limited portions of practice.

That would seem to forecast that Rodgers – who passed his baseline concussion tests – could very well start Sunday, but first, the team doctors want to see how he responds to the aftermath of practice before they clear him for Sunday.

Rodgers “We’re going to watch him closely, just like we always do,” McCarthy told reporters, including the Green Bay Press Gazette, “and I’m sure he’s in the training room right now just to see how he came out of practice. But he felt fine and I communicated with him during the course of the practice. But it’s Thursday. I’ve never made any decisions on injured players coming back on Thursday.”

Rodgers also talked to reporters, and he said he didn’t feel normal until Wednesday. This, he claimed, was his first concussion, and his brain function was slower than normal.

“Having never had a concussion before, it was definitely a learning process – to understand how my body feels,” Rodgers said. “I’ve been dinged in the head a number of times. Everything from high school to seeing stars to different shots you take along the way. … By the time the last hit was made, it was a situation where if they had missed the field goal or turned the ball over, definitely Matt was going in the game.”

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Posted on: October 14, 2010 1:41 pm

Aaron Rodgers returns to practice Thursday

Posted by Will Brinson

Aaron Rodgers returned to practice on Thursday, meaning Packers fans concerned he might miss this week's game against the Dolphins because of the concussion he suffered last Sunday can breathe a little easier.

Rodgers took the majority of snaps with the first team (Matt Flynn took them yesterday), according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, at least in the portion of practice that was open to the media.

There's still no word on whether Rodgers will play or not, and the Packers haven't issued their Thursday injury report quite yet.

He does, however, have to clear the standard concussion tests in order to play.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 10:06 am

Packers prepping for life without Rodgers?

Posted by Will Brinson

Okay, "life without" is strong, since Aaron Rodgers should be back sooner than later from his concussion, but there's at least a decent chance that he misses the Miami game this weekend, and the Packers are preparing for that by giving Matt Flynn more than his normal number of reps with the first team.

Although Flynn doesn't think there's anything really THAT wrong with Rodgers.

"He seemed normal," Flynn said. "We were talking, having a normal conversation, playing cards this morning. He doesn’t seem foggy or cloudy or anything."

(Quick aside: I did a lot of chuckling over the obvious notion that a) Flynn really, really, really wants Rodgers to be healthy and the probably-not-true-theory that b) while Rodgers is in a concussed state, Flynn's convincing him to play cards and robbing him blind.)

QB coach Tom Clements also referred to Rodgers as "very lucid" throughout the whole process of getting his bell rung, so that's good news, but no one should expect to see him back at practice before Thursday or Friday at the earliest, and still worry a little bit about Rodgers playing on Sunday.

"It’s definitely possible," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Rodgers missing a game. "I know at a minimum he’ll miss some practice time."

On the bright side, Rodgers being sidelined might finally beat the "YOU REALLY SHOULD CONSIDER HAVING A DECENT RUNNING GAME" message everyone's been sending McCarthy's way into his head.

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Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:58 am

Hot Routes 10.12.10: Gloria Allred comments

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- In case you missed last night’s press conference featuring Brett Favre, there were a handful of questions relating to the texting/sexual harassment scandal in which he’s currently found himself. Like a matador, Favre deftly avoided all the inquiries and dealt with football questions only. Hell, at one point, he was practically begging for reporters to ask about his TD throw to Randy Moss.

- Jets WR Santonio Holmes looked rusty and inconsistent in his first game back following a four-game suspension to start the season.

- Darrelle Revis’s hamstring was sore and swollen after the game, and while watching him try to cover Percy Harvin on his 34-yard TD catch Monday night, you can tell he’s still not 100 percent. Revis said he’s not sure if he’ll play next week.

- At this point, it’s pretty safe to call Jets RBs Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson (or is that LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene?) the best duo in the NFL.

- Tom Brady spoke on the radio this morning, and he addressed the hair vs. beard kerfuffle between he and Randy Moss (he said there was no conflict) and how happy he is to have Deion Branch back (he’s very happy).

- The Dolphins have to prepare for two Green Bay quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a concussion Sunday and might not play, and backup Matt Flynn.

- Meanwhile, Miami really is thinking hard about Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews. The Dolphins walked into their locker room Monday, and inside each of their stalls was a picture of Matthews.

- The Ravens are second in the league in pass defense, allowing only 156.6 yards per game. But you know what’s strange about that stat? None of the defensive backs have an interception this year.

- Not surprisingly, QB Alex Smith will start San Francisco’s game against the Raiders. How quickly this time around will the crowd chant for his backup?

-Despite the dropped TD pass that would have given Kansas City a 13-9 lead against the Colts on Sunday, Chiefs coach Todd Haley defended WR Dwayne Bowe. It’s not like this is Bowe’s first time dropping a ball, though.

- I’ll leave you with this. The first thing I thought about when I saw this headline in the New York Daily News, “Jenn Sterger could take money from Brett Favre to keep quiet, attorney Gloria Allred says,” was last week’s cold opener from Saturday Night Live. Video is below.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com