Evaluating Matt Flynn


Green Bay backup Matt Flynn could be making his way here to Seattle to be the Seahawks new starting quarterback. If the move works out anything like it did with another former Packers backup we all know (Matt Hasselbeck for those of you who have been living on the moon) it will be well worth it. It’s been extremely difficult to cut through all the hype on Matt Flynn and truly evaluate his skillset. This is probably because the league is so starved for quarterbacks right now it still hasn’t forgotten about people like Matt Leinart. However, anyone who beats Aaron Rodgers to set two franchise single game records in passing and touchdowns deserves some interest. Even despite the fact he only has two starts under his belt.

Kevin Kolb was the free agent quarterback jackpot of last year, but his payoff has yet to justify the price Arizona paid. This scares a lot of people when thinking about getting into a bidding war with the Miami Dolphins over Flynn. Yet despite all the failed backups gone free agency and turned starters such as Matt Cassell, we need to remember that many former backups do end up becoming franchise quarterbacks like Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Schaub. One team’s second string trash can really become another team’s first string gold. Furthermore, if John Schneider decides to go ahead and really make an offer on Flynn we will know he is franchise material. Schneider was the head of football operations for Green Bay in 2008 when Flynn was drafted. He will know all the upsides and downsides to Matt Flynn.

The biggest reason it has been difficult to evaluate Flynn is that he has only started two games in his career. This leaves a lot to be said about his consistency, leadership, study habits, and all the other intangibles. Right now you can only evaluate what you see on the field in his two games and I put a high price on what happens off the field, especially with quarterbacks. This is the only thing that truly concerns me about Matt Flynn.

However exceptional Matt Flynn looked against the Lions and Patriots a lot of credit needs to be given to his wide receivers. Not only was he playing with one of the most exceptional if not thee most exceptional receiving corps in the NFL, but the Lions and Patriots secondary were doing them a lot of favors. Almost every completion in these games garnished another 10 to 20 yards after the catch if not more. Likewise Flynn was dumping it off short on a lot of screens or getting it off to his hot read who most times was able to run for considerable yardage. However, even if he was dumping it off short it left reason to be impressed.

What Matt Flynn clearly displayed in his two starts was the ability to not only be a playmaker, but a smart playmaker. He showed that he clearly has a good football IQ if not a high football IQ, something Tarvaris Jackson clearly lacks. When you watch both games you can see that he keeps his eyes moving through his progressions. If his throw down the field isn’t there he dumps it off short rather than take a sack. He also doesn’t lock onto one receiver until he is forced into a coverage sack. The ability for Flynn to keep his head on a swivel and find the open man quickly is definitely a positive.  This is something Tarvaris Jackson is notorious for not doing. He focuses in on his first read (usually Sydney Rice) and never allows himself to enter into his progressions.

Right away Flynn’s ability to go through his motions would be an instant upgrade over Tarvaris. If you watch the game Flynn played against the Patriots you can see he was under an inordinate amount of pressure the whole game. Nonetheless he was able to feel that pressure coming and either dump it off short or throw the ball away. He wasn’t perfect when being under siege the whole time, no quarterback is, but he was good enough to impress. Plus it was his first start in the NFL which makes it even more impressive. Even if Flynn didn’t lead them to win that game he still posted a performance of three touch downs to one interception with a completion rating of 64.9%. Something I would take from a quarterback under that much duress any day. Also Flynn displayed some mobility in getting away from pressure. This is one thing we know the current Seahawks regime values. Also it’s another improvement over Tarvaris who was supposed to be mobile but was too indecisive and blind to pressure to know when to use it.

Flynn also showed he had the capability to throw a decent deep ball. Some of the deep throws I saw him make were perfect, while others were good but a little underthrown. However, each one was accurate and left no room for the defensive back to intercept it. As we all know this ability is paramount for a quarterback playing in the Seattle scheme. He also was able to thread the needle on a handful of throws when he needed to. Flynn showed in his two starts that he can make throws accurately at all three levels.

All in all I think the Seahawks have to make a move for Matt Flynn. From what I see he is the most promising prospect out there right now. Furthermore we have the cap room to try and lure him away from Miami who is the most likely landing spot for him. Honestly the only thing I see keeping Flynn from going to Miami would be if someone offered him more money. Hopefully the Seahawks will be that team and get into some type of bidding war. However, if John Schneider doesn’t make a move for Matt Flynn we will know he wasn’t worth it. Although from what I have seen I do not think that is the case. Matt Flynn has your prototypical NFL arm, he is good under pressure, and he goes through his reads quickly. There is no doubt in my mind he would be an instant upgrade to Tarvaris Jackson.

What do you guys think?