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McCarthy says Flynn ready to be NFL starter

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike McCarthy gave Matt Flynn a full public endorsement as a potential starting quarterback in the NFL. Flynn will be a free agent beginning March 13 and could be the most attractive quarterback on the open market after Peyton Manning if the Indianapolis Colts release him because of the nerve damage suffered from a neck injury. But teams needing a starting quarterback also will be wary that Flynn has started only two regular-season games, and thus they have limited video of him to study. McCarthy, though, said at his press conference today at the NFL scouting combine that after coaching Flynn for four years with the Packers that his backup quarterback "absolutely" is ready to be an NFL starter. "But based on what I see in the everyday classroom, practice field, heís ready," McCarthy said. "Itís his time to play. And you donít ever know. You donít ever know if a backup quarterback can take that next step and go out and play 16 games. I know mentally heís ready, emotionally heís definitely ready, but until you play the position and go play those 1,100, 1,200 snaps, thatís when you really find out. And I think mattís ready for that." The Packers have the option of using their franchise tag on Flynn and then trading him, but it's unclear whether General Manager Ted Thompson is willing to take that risk. If Thompson used the tag and was unable to work out a deal for whatever reason -- maybe teams interested in Flynn wouldn't be willing to pay him the guaranteed money he could make with the $14.4 million franchise tender from the Packers -- then the Packers would be stuck paying their backup quarterback almost $15 million this year. ďIíll tell you what, heís very consistent, the same guy every day," McCarthy said of Flynn's strengths. "Iím talking about emotionally, mentally and physically. He can make all the throws, does a very good job of running the system. The same game plan that we had in for Aaron Rodgers, we went with the same one with (Flynn's) opportunities. He has the ability to play the moving phase and the action phase and also drop back and throw the ball on some deep, out-breaking balls. I think heís very savvy in the pocket and people underestimate his athletic ability. Heís a very good football player when he leaves the pocket.Ē

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