Stumbles unusual for rock-solid Flanagan


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Dec 12, 2004
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Green Bay, WI
Rob Demovsky said:
Center Mike Flanagan had surgery last Oct. 7 for the patellar tendinitis that ended his season.

There were only a handful of them sprinkled in over the last month, but there have been enough breakdowns by center Mike Flanagan to have the Green Bay Packers mildly concerned about their starting center.

There was one against San Diego’s Jamal Williams, who blew up Flanagan and stuffed Ahman Green for a 1-yard loss; one against New England’s Vince Wilfork, who beat Flanagan for a sack on Brett Favre; and one against Tennessee’s Albert Haynesworth, who manhandled Flanagan and pressured Favre. All those came in the preseason.

In Sunday’s Week 1 loss at Detroit, Flanagan on a couple of occasions was overpowered by Lions defensive tackle Shaun Rogers. Once, he shoved Flanagan back on a running play that resulted in no gain by Najeh Davenport and once Flanagan dragged Rogers down and was penalized for holding.

Throw out those plays and it would be easy to say it’s been the same old Flanagan, who has been the rock of the Packers’ offensive line since he became the full-time starter in 2001. But they can’t be ignored, and the normally sturdy Flanagan has shown some early-season flaws.

Perhaps it’s because he’s not completely over the left knee tendinitis that ended his 2004 season after only three games or that he’s working with a pair of new starting guards.

Either way, even Flanagan knows he’s being looked at in a critical light.

“I know why everyone’s talking about it because it seems like there’s a play a game where I’ve gotten my (butt) handed to me,â€