July 19, 2018

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The forgotten QB battle: will Matt Flynn get a starting role?

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When Matt Flynn entered the league in the 2008 draft, he beat off competition to become Aaron Rodgers back up in Green Bay… where he stayed for 4 years, and only managed to be starter for 2 games.

Many feel that if it wasn’t for the starting role being dominated by Rodgers, Flynn would have been given more of a chance to show what he could do.  This sentiment was obviously felt by the Seattle offices, who signed Flynn to a 3 year deal.  Finally, things seemed to be looking up.  Flynn was going into a team that needed a franchise quarterback and his only competition was Tavaris Jackson and some kid drafted out of Wisconsin.  But little did they know that the kid… is Russell Wilson, who lit up the preseason games and forced the Seattle coaches to consider making Wilson the starter… and they did.

In the offseason, the Seahawks decided to trade out Flynn for a couple of future draft picks to the Oakland Raiders, who were also seeking a franchise quarterback after the split with Carson Palmer.  Now it seems as though the bad luck has followed Flynn to Oakland as he seemingly has to battle for the starting role with yet another rookie in Tyler Wilson, as well as Terrelle Pryor.  Matt Flynn goes into training camps and the preseason showing what he can do he should be able to secure the starting role, but Pryor knows the system and set up after spending 3 years as a backup and Tyler Wilson comes in with an impressive college record.

What Matt Flynn brings to the table

Experience.  OK, not the experience that comes through numerous NFL starts, but rather working in successful systems under quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and with coaches like Mike McCarthy.

Whilst Flynn was with the Packers he started the final game of the season against the Detroit Lions, on January 1st, 2012. In that game he threw for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns in the 45-41 victory, both of which set all-time Green Bay Packers records.

Competition at Oakland

Given the Raiders’ lack of financial commitment to Matt Flynn, should either Terrelle Pryor or rookie Tyler Wilson shine in training camp and outplay him throughout the preseason, they would not feel obligated to stick with him as the starter.

Terrelle Pryor is a polarising player like any quarterback with his athletic ability is.  The plays he is capable of making with his legs are extremely rare and can be valuable to a team.  However, he does need to progress as a passer.  If he fairs to do so, it is unlikely that the Raiders would look to use him in anything more than a red-zone package role.

Tyler Wilson, a once-touted first-round talent, was the Raiders’ fourth-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.  If he lives up to that potential and shows that his senior season at Arkansas was more so a product of a struggling program overall, then the Raiders may have themselves quite a bargain.  Even if Wilson isn’t ready to start right away, he may be the quarterback that the Raiders look to build around moving forward.

Conclusion

Expect Matt Flynn to win the Raiders’ starting quarterback job, but the two very talented players not far behind him will make it more interesting and intriguing to watch throughout the preseason.

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