With each errant pass flailing dangerously through the Florida sky, it was evident on September 28, 2008 the Green Bay Packers could have used a veteran backup quarterback.
Matt Flynn demonstrated a flawless ability to hand the ball off, however, that savvy couldn’t drive the offense within 60 yards of the end zone.
Of course, a first down would have been needed to achieve such a feat.
A rookie quarterback trying to come in the fourth quarter of a tightly contested ballgame and lead a drive is a scary proposition. Even scarier considering it was on the road against the nasty Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense.
Flynn finished the contest 2/5 for 6 yards on two attempted drives. That didn’t seem to give the Packers any kind of hope once Rodgers hurt his shoulder. Their best chance was that Rodgers would come back in the game with a half-available throwing arm.
Obviously Flynn was in nearly the worst possible situation to come in, one in which he was destined to fail as a young signal caller. My knock isn’t on Matt Flynn; it just seems the Packers could have used a serviceable veteran backup quarterback that day and for the remainder of the season. What’s wrong with a little bit of insurance?
While it’s too late to fix last season’s mistakes (I don’t have enough fingers to count them), I think the Packers should at least bring in a veteran free agent to help compete for the backup role. If Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm play better than this proposed individual throughout the preseason, then release him.
Both Flynn and Brohm could turn into serviceable quarterbacks in the future, but it takes time. Aaron Rodgers struggled his first two exhibition seasons because he wasn’t ready to lead a team.
It’s obvious that management has far more pressing needs to shore up their roster before they report to training camp. I fully understand that building the new defense and making tough decisions on the offensive tackles is more important than finding a journeyman quarterback to compete for the backup slot. However, it still seems very important to fill this void. Do any Packer fans feel confident that the offense could be competitive with Matt Flynn or Brian Brohm at quarterback?
Looking over the free agent list, there appears to be a few viable options out there. Scratch Jeff Garcia off the list because he will be competing for a starter job in somebody’s training camp. Kerry Collins and Luke McCown have also been claimed by their prospective teams, so take them off the unrestricted list.
It seems like bringing in a player with previous starter experience would be beneficial. The players that seem to fit this role best are as follows: Kyle Boller, David Carr, Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich, J.P. Losman, J.T. O’Sullivan, Dan Orlovsky, Patrick Ramsey, and Chris Simms.
While none of these players are great, I feel adding them (without spending much) would make our team better. If Rodgers goes down for a quarter, game, or a season, I would feel much more confident with a proven veteran.