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Flynn out in Green Bay as Tolzien moves up

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers still list quarterback Matt Flynn on their offseason roster.

Well, sort of.

Flynn’s name is way down at the bottom of the team’s online roster page, paired with defensive back Jarrett Bush in the “unrestricted free agent” category after previously being with the team.

As long as Packers general manager Ted Thompson isn’t inclined to bring back Flynn for a seventh year with the team, Scott Tolzien is entrenched as its No. 2 quarterback as the start of training camp in late July draws closer. That result became more apparent when there were reports that Flynn had agreed to terms with the New England Patriots.

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is among those impressed by how his top understudy has fared in Green Bay’s spring workouts.

“His approach is what really separates him,” Rodgers said of Tolzien as the Packers completed their organized team activities this week. “He’s put himself in great position to make a career for himself.”

Head coach Mike McCarthy said Tolzien, entering his fifth NFL season, took a step in the right direction during this year’s offseason program.

Yet McCarthy points to the preseason ahead in August as the true barometer for a young quarterback’s progression.

“That’s when you want to see a quarterback take a jump,” McCarthy said.

Tolzien seems to be on his way to making training camp count for something in his second full year with the Packers after an uneventful start to his career with the San Francisco 49ers.

“There’s a lot on the quarterback’s plate, but I think I’ve learned to appreciate that,” Tolzien said.

Another year in McCarthy’s well-regarded, in-house quarterback school during the offseason paid off for Tolzien, who is more comfortable running the offense, and bolstered his confidence in making pass-protection calls.

“You have to know where you’re protected and where you’re not, and the adjustments to make,” Tolzien said.

Tolzien’s only two starts as a pro came when Rodgers missed most of the second half of the 2013 season because of a broken collarbone.

The results were mixed for Tolzien in his three appearances that season, when he threw for more than 700 yards on 90 passes but had five interceptions with only one touchdown for a feeble efficiency rating of 66.8.

Far removed from that point in his fledgling career, the former Wisconsin standout stood out in open OTA practices the last two weeks by directing two touchdown drives in the two-minute drill.

“(But) I don’t want to make too much of it,” said Tolzien, whose competition for the No. 2 job are offseason additions Brett Hundley, a fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA, and Matt Blanchard, a second-year free agent.

–Green Bay’s offseason roster is officially at 89 players, one short of the minimum, as it gets ready to hold the mandatory minicamp on June 16-18.

The Packers signed tackle Vince Kowalski this week. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Kowalski is an undrafted rookie from Villanova.

Technically not on the roster is Damarious Randall, the team’s first-round draft pick this year. He is the only player from Green Bay’s draft class unsigned. However, he does count against the 90-man roster limit.

–The Packers announced several notable changes to their medical staff.

Longtime team trainer Pepper Burruss was named director of sports medicine administration. Burruss had been Green Bay’s head athletic trainer since joining the team in 1993 after a 16-year stint in an assistant trainer role with the New York Jets.

“We will continue to rely on his expertise and wisdom in his new role,” general manager Ted Thompson said.

Bryan Engel was promoted to head athletic trainer. He had been an assistant athletic trainer with the Packers since 1999.

–More than 40 Packers are scheduled to participate in the annual Jordy Nelson Charity Softball Game hosted by the wide receiver on Sunday outside Green Bay in Grand Chute, Wis.

Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews are expected to play. The game pits members of Green Bay’s offense against those from the defense.


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