Starter Pack: Flynn defends work ethic

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers’ beat.

Whatever went wrong for quarterback Matt Flynn after he left Green Bay following the 2011 season, don’t tell him it was a lack of dedication to his craft.

That was the suggestion in a recent column by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn, who wrote that, according to sources, Flynn lost out to Russell Wilson for the starting job with the Seattle Seahawks (who then traded Flynn to the Oakland Raiders) because he “became a 9-to-5er and, not only was he outperformed, he also was outworked.”

Flynn also flamed out in Oakland, who released him earlier this season, and then he lasted less than a month with the Buffalo Bills, who released him earlier this month before the Packers re-signed him on Tuesday to back up Scott Tolzien, who will start this Sunday against the New York Giants.

“Anybody who says I’m a 9-to-5er is ignorant, just straight forward,” Flynn said Wednesday in his first session with reporters since the Packers re-signed him. “I work as hard as anybody does. I don’t try to rub it anybody’s faces or do it in front of coaches to make a point that I study. I do my job. I go about my business as a professional. I’m never going to have a moment where I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. It kind of gets to me a little bit that anybody would say that because that’s just an ignorant comment.”

So what went wrong for Flynn, who seemed poised to be a starter after serving as Aaron Rodgers’ backup for four years?

Flynn battled elbow problems, but the Packers’ medical staff obviously felt good enough to clear him to sign. Whether he will ever be the same player who threw for single-game team records of 480 yards and six touchdowns against the Detroit Lions in his last appearances for the Packers in Week 17 of the 2011 season remains to be seen.

“I’m still the same guy as when I left here,” Flynn said. “I’m still confident. I know I can play the position. I know I can play in the NFL. It’s something that, for whatever reason, things didn’t work out like you thought they would.”

In case you missed it on ESPN.com:

  • With Flynn and Tolzien, the Packers will have their third different quarterback combination in as many weeks, yet the vibe around Lambeau Field seems positive in part because of how Tolzien has embraced the opportunity to fill in for Rodgers.

  • In an effort to continue his NFL career, tight end Jermichael Finley has decided to undergo spinal fusion surgery, his agent announced. The surgery will be done by Pittsburgh Steelers neurosurgeon Dr. James Maroon. Finley will be a free agent after this season.

  • Linebacker Clay Matthews still will have to wear a cast on his surgically repaired right thumb, but it won’t be the bulky club that rendered him largely ineffective in his return last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

  • And finally, here’s a breakdown of what the Packers’ offense has looked like, from a statistical standpoint, with Rodgers and without him.


  • At ESPNWisconsin.com, Jason Wilde had more details on Flynn’s journey back to Green Bay.

  • In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Pete Dougherty traced Tolzien’s work ethic back to his college days, where he overcame long odds to become a starter at the University of Wisconsin.

  • In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tom Silverstein and Tyler Dunne combined a notebook that includes an item about center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who appears to have avoided a major knee injury.