Matt Flynn

So far, Flynn is no flop as starting QB

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013 - 6:27 am

NAPA – Matt Flynn is solidifying his role as starting quarterback for the Raiders one year after losing that same job in training camp with the Seattle Seahawks.

Flynn entered camp with the inside track over Terrelle Pryor and rookie Tyler Wilson to replace Carson Palmer in Oakland and has done nothing in the first week to change that equation.

It's a far cry to what happened to Flynn a year ago in Seattle, where he went from coveted offseason free-agent acquisition with a $26 million contract to backing up a third-round pick in a matter of weeks at training camp.

With Russell Wilson set as starter in Seattle, Flynn was traded to the Raiders in the offseason and has done his best to hold onto this opportunity to start in the NFL.

"I took away a lot of things from Seattle last year," Flynn said Tuesday. "But the thing that I took away the most was that I want this even more now, even more this year.

"I'm blessed to have another opportunity at this, and I'll try to take advantage of it and do as much as I can to not let it get away from me."

Flynn has been the most impressive of the three quarterbacks so far in training camp with the most accurate arm, a good grasp of the offense and strong leadership on the field.

"I'm going in there and trying to be the best quarterback out here, trying to be the best quarterback for this team and help this team win as best I can," Flynn said. "I'm coming in here every day with my hard hat on, trying to prepare."

Flynn, a backup in college at LSU to former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, has started just two games in five seasons as a pro. But it's those brief appearances that are so intriguing.

As Aaron Rodgers' understudy in Green Bay, he threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a loss at New England late in the 2010 season. He then started the regular-season finale the next season, going 31 for 44 for 480 yards and six touchdown passes in a 45-41 win over Detroit.

That led to the contract from the Seahawks. But Flynn struggled in the second exhibition game last summer and missed the third with an elbow injury. By that point, Wilson passed him on the depth chart and Flynn was relegated to another year as a backup.

"To play quarterback in the NFL, to me, you have to be two things: You have to be smart and you have to be accurate," Flynn said. "Things on the field are going to come and you have to be able to do that as well, and I feel very confident in my ability to do that, but overall you have to be smart and accurate."

Flynn got another chance to prove that when the Raiders dealt a 2014 fifth-round pick and a conditional pick in 2015 to Seattle.

While coach Dennis Allen has stressed an open competition with Pryor and another rookie named Wilson – Tyler – nothing that has been seen so far in the offseason or camp indicates that Flynn won't be the starter when the season opens in Indianapolis.

"It's kind of playing out about like I expected. Matt Flynn has been pretty consistent," Allen said.

"Those guys are doing exactly what we want them to do, keep competing and keep playing," he said. "Don't worry about the depth chart, just keep getting better."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Josh Dubow



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