Monday, February 10, 2014

Why The Packers Might Favor Tolzien Over Flynn

While I'm writing a post about why the Green Bay Packers might want Scott Tolzien instead of Matt Flynn as their No. 2 quarterback in 2014, I'd like to remind everyone that I'm writing about two quarterbacks who were released by other teams in 2013 (twice in Flynn's case). Neither one of them is very good, and neither one should be challenging for a starting job on any NFL team. Both quarterbacks were terrible for the Packers in 2013, and it's not going to matter much whether they choose one over the other.

Having said that, there are a few points in Tolzien's favor. He had a better QPB (ESPN's advanced metric) of 24.3 to Flynn's 19.4 in large part because he didn't fumble, while Flynn had two (including a killer one against the Steelers). Just a reminder, both of their QPBs are terrible, only a score over 50 is acceptable, so it's still the lesser of two evils.

Tolzien also didn't take part in training camp, so by the time he took the field against the Eagles on November 11th, he might have had close to zero snaps with the first team offense because Seneca Wallace probably took all the snaps in practice that week. While Flynn had to shake off the rust, Tolzien was thrown into the fire (to mix my metaphors). Mike McCarthy was impressed with Tolzien after the Eagles game, and he might be bullish on how Tolzien would play in 2014 after a full offseason under his belt.

The first problem for Flynn is that he's a free agent. Obviously he won't need much to re-sign, but GM Ted Thompson isn't exactly known for accommodating free agents. Also, he was incredibly inconsistent last season, mixing a couple of good games (Vikings and Cowboys) in with a couple of absolute horror shows (Lions and Steelers). Depending on the circumstances, that might not be something that's acceptable for McCarthy. Finally, how healthy is Flynn's elbow? The Packers now know a lot more about his health status, and the prognosis might not be good. The injury could be causing a problem with arm strength and accuracy. As a general rule, it's probably better to go with the healthy player.

This isn't a slam-dunk endorsement for Tolzien. My first preference would be that both of them return in 2014 with Flynn as the No. 2 and Tolzien as the emergency quarterback. But if the plan is to chose one over the other, Tolzien could turn out to be the better player.

1 comment:

Jack Niemuth said...

I don't know if I'd call the Steelers game a horror show. Remember, the Packers were down double-digits in that one, and Flynn rallied them back. Sure he fumbled late, but it wasn't on a routine sack it was on a QB sneak in which he got wrapped up and stripped by some guy named Troy Polamalu. So yea, I'd say that, besides the Lions game, Flynn was fine last year. Bring him back as the backup.