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McCarthy Wants to See Both Flynn and Harrell Play vs. Lions

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McCarthy Wants to See Both Flynn and Harrell Play vs. Lions

Even if Aaron Rodgers plays on Sunday in the relatively meaningless regular season finale against the Detroit Lions, it's a given backup Matt Flynn would see a bunch of playing time, because the Packers aren't going to want to expose their star quarterback to injury.

But on Friday, head coach Mike McCarthy threw third-string quarterback Graham Harrell into the mix as well.

"The most important thing with Aaron is he's ready to play," said McCarthy during his press conference. "Whether he starts, we'll talk about that today.

"It's important for the quarterbacks, we repped all three of them this week. I'd like to see all three of them playing in the game, is the initial plan as we started the week. And we'll make those decisions here after we meet with our game management and go into tomorrow's quarterback meeting."

The Packers had a similar situation entering the final regular season game of the 2007 season when they had already wrapped up a first-round bye in the playoffs.

The Packers made several of their star players inactive that day but not Brett Favre. He started and played for about a quarter before giving way to Craig Nall.

If history repeats itself, Rodgers will play a series or two on Sunday and then turn the reins over to Flynn and Harrell the rest of the way.

Getting some experience for the No. 2 and 3 quarterbacks would seem to benefit not only the players, but the organization as well.

For Flynn, he's the insurance policy to Aaron Rodgers and will be entrusted with leading the Packers in case Rodgers, by chance, can't play.

"I want to see Matt Flynn like he did in New England but take it a step further and win the game," said McCarthy. "Had an opportunity for him to take some no huddle and two minute versus the defense today just to get him ready for the second half. He's been able to get a lot of the situational work throughout the week. I'd like to see him take the next step."

The New England game McCarthy reference was the Week 15 matchup last season when Flynn subbed in for Rodgers who was out for a concussion. The Packers came away with the 31-27  loss, but Flynn put them in a position to win the game, his most extensive playing time to date.

Flynn is also a free agent at season's end and will, in essence, be putting on an audition for any other team in the NFL that might be in need of a starting quarterback next season.

As for Harrell, he'll be the backup next year in the even that Flynn leaves. Even though he's been on the 53-man roster for several weeks this season and last, he's never appeared in a regular season game in the NFL.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Brian, your inactive list projection should be interesting.

Bob's picture

Sounds a lot like preseason game number 4.

Michael from Winnipeg's picture

Rodgers into the first play of the 2nd quarter. Maybe just before the end of the 1st quarter. When MM pulls him, the ovation will be heard into Michigan.
Flynn takes over to the first play of the 4th quarter.
Harrell handles the remainder of the game.

Bomdad's picture

I want too see QB1 rack up some stats. Brees has the yardage record and off season workouts going for him.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Brady will likely surpass Marino's record this weekend as well. What Brees has done and Brady will do are impressive and worthy of note....however, Marino's record is more impressive considering the style of play in the mid 80's. While the QB position is important in today's game and was back then as well, it was a different style of play. You saw more 2 back 1 TE formations. Not too much spread 2 x 2 and 3 x

PackersRS's picture

I don't, exactly because of records. If he doesn't, he gets the record for passer rating in a season. I doubt he can improve it if he's not going to play many snaps.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

let me finish. 3 x 1 sets that you see today. What Rodgers has done is more impressive. Efficiency is more important in my opinion.

PackersRS's picture

Completely agree with you. Project Rodgers' numbers if he had the same number of attempts as Brees and you get something in the likes of 5300+ yards and 50+ tds.

But, as it stands, Rodgers has 4 more TDs, 1 yard per attempt more, and more importantly, as you said, less than half the number of INTs. All that with 120 less attempts.

Ct Sharpe Cheddar's picture

45 tds 6 interceptions nuff said

fish/crane's picture

BC- you are fantastic, but if I catch two typos- it's time to set you down for a meaningless game and have you 100% for the playoffs.

Tommyboy's picture

I'm honestly MORE excited for this game since Flynn is taking the snaps.

Philip's picture

How great would it be to see Flynn light up the DET defense and get the win? Wipe that smug face right off Jim Schwarz's head.

Edward's picture

that would be fantastic!

Bob's picture

That would be great and why not inflate the stats with some meaningless TD passes and yardage. Let Flynn get the ball into the redzone. Then put in Rodgers to finish it off with a screen or fade to Jones in the endzone. As in Peyton playing Brees in blowout and Bellicheck keeping Brady in games with 3 TD lead, adding 1 or 2 TD passes in several games that year.

Ruppert's picture

Way to work in a Craig Nall reference. B.C. is in postseason form!

Oppy's picture

As much as I'd like to see Flynn do well on a personal level- I think he's a kid with a bright future- the only guy I'll be watching closely will be Graham Harrell.

Graham shows improvement and a little sumthin' sumthin' out there- something to work with- the Packers can feel okay about setting Flynn off to greener pastures.

But if Harrell plays like two-week-old garbage on a hot august day? Well, then the packers have to start thinking about off season moves.

A few years ago, the Packers proved they have no problem going into a season without an experienced back up QB.. But, the Packers weren't in serious contention for multiple superbowl championships at that time either... I don't think the Packers roll the dice as much at the #2 QB position now as they did in previous seasons.

wgbeethree's picture


I've been split on this. I think you could just as easily make the argument that what Rodger, Brady, and Brees are doing is more impressive considering the style of play in the mid eighties compared to now. Marino was the exception to the rule back then. Teams had to build their defenses to stop the 2 back 1 TE formations that you point out were far more prevalent. Marino was facing defenses built to stop the run and had a distinct advantage because of it IMO where as now defenses are built knowing the pass game will be featured much more.

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