There has been a lot of talk about who is going to win the battle for backup quarterback on the Green Bay Packers. Will it be Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien? In my mind, Flynn is the going to be the backup but in the bigger picture, both quarterbacks should make their way onto the Packers 53-man roster for the 2014 season.
Keeping three quarterbacks isn’t something the Packers have grown accustomed to and in fact they haven’t kept three since the 2008, when Aaron Rodgers, Flynn and Brian Brohm were all on the roster.
Yet, with what the Packers experienced last season, it would be wise for them to stay stocked at the quarterback position, even if it means carrying Tolzien on the roster as a third quarterback.
When it comes to the backup quarterback competition, I see Flynn as the clear leader at this point and expect his lead to grow as he shows his value in the preseason. Preseason games are made for quarterbacks like Flynn, who will look like a starting caliber quarterback against the backups and youngsters he will play against.
Tolzien will have his moments as well and he proved last season that he can make plays in the passing game. Even though the Packers didn’t win the one game he started, he did have his moments. The former Wisconsin quarterback completed 61 percent of his passes for 717 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. Those numbers don’t sound great but on the bright side, he did average eight yards a pass and 239 yards per game, including a 339-yard performance in a loss against the Giants.
Tolzien may make more big plays but Flynn is steadier. He knows how to manage the offense and keeps his cool. Last season, he led the Packers back from down 23 points to win, down 16 points to win and down 16 points to tie against the Cowboys, Falcons and Vikings, respectively.
In Flynn’s four starts last season, Green Bay posted a 2-2 record, which is exactly what a team should expect of a good backup quarterback. The former seventh-rounder may not be starter material in the NFL but he is unquestionably a very good backup and one the Packers are lucky to have.
Last season, the former LSU standout completed 61.4 percent of his passes, threw seven touchdowns and four interceptions, while averaging 229 passing yards per game.
Flynn also is so familiar with the offense at this point in his career that he can play and play well without getting a ton of reps in practice because when the regular season begins, the majority of the reps are going to Rodgers.
At the end of the day, the Packers are fortunate to have two quarterbacks that are legitimately capable of backing up Rodgers but as they learned last season, quarterback depth is important and that position should not be left to chance. People may still want to debate who’s better, Flynn or Tolzien but in my opinion, it doesn’t matter because both should end up on the final 53-man roster.