After being overtaken for the Seattle Seahawks' starting quarterback spot by rookie Russell Wilson this preseason, former Green Bay Packers backup Matt Flynn is heading down a precarious path Kevin Kolb knows all too well.
Kolb was lauded as practically a surefire starter in the NFL when he was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Arizona Cardinals last summer. In fact, the Cardinals gave up Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to land Kolb.
But Kolb has struggled in Arizona and now he's in a battle with none other than John Skelton for the starting spot after a poor showing last season.
We know this story before it even ends. Here's why Matt Flynn will turn out to be the next Kevin Kolb.
Top Backup QB, Nothing More
Look at the history of backup quarterbacks going on to become starters with new teams. It's not pretty.
Just a name a few, you have Matt Cassel, Tarvaris Jackson, Aaron Brooks, Rob Johnson, Stan Humphries and Scott Mitchell.
It shows that it's a huge jump to go from capable backup to legitimate starter in the National Football League, and perhaps that's what has happened to Flynn and Kolb. They haven't been able to take that next step to franchise quarterback.
Wilson, a rookie, has apparently gotten adjusted to taking over starting duties quicker than Flynn has.
Product of the System
When Flynn tossed for 480 yards and six touchdowns to one interception in his only start of last season against the Detroit Lions, some wondered whether it had to do more with the system at Green Bay than Flynn's actual talent level.
Perhaps that wasn't such an unreasonable question.
Flynn, like Kolb, came from a contending franchise. He came from a proven system that had experienced success well before he was implemented into it. He was also playing under a impressive coaching staff, complete with head coach Mike McCarthy, who has obviously proven he was the right man to take over for Mike Sherman in Green Bay.
Kolb experienced the same thing under Andy Reid in Philadelphia. He was groomed under a system that had produced six playoff appearances in seven years before he even arrived in 2007. You take away that proven system and he's not the same man.
Flynn's job is much tougher without the security blanket of the Packers' system, and the hangover has led to him losing the starting quarterback job in Seattle to Wilson.
Which brings me to my next point...
Flynn Lost His Cozy Security Blanket
Imagine how you would feel if you were sent from the Green Bay Packers to the Seattle Seahawks, inserted under center and told to go to work with completely different weapons and a lackluster roster.
That's like your favorite offensive lineman telling you he's going on vacation forever and you'll never see him again—then his replacement going on vacation...while he's still on the field.
The Seahawks gave up 50 sacks last season, fourth-most in the NFL. There was plenty of sleeping on the line. Flynn is dealing with an O-line that collectively allows defenders to get to the quarterback much quicker, even in training camp.
And while the Seahawks have some weapons in the receiving corps in Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and tight end Zach Miller, that's a far cry from the weapons Flynn had in Green Bay.
It's a completely different setting, and it comes as a shock to some guys. Like it did for Kolb in Arizona.
Flash in the Pan
During his career at Green Bay, Flynn completed 62 percent of his passes while throwing nine touchdowns to five interceptions.
Good, but not great.
He had two good games in four years with the franchise (including the December 2010 affair against the New England Patriots). That's a rather small sample size when determining who your next starting quarterback should be.
And don't forget, while Flynn's Week 17 performance against the Lions was impressive, he was going against a secondary that allowed 239.4 passing yards per game in 2011-2012 and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 62.3 percent of their passes.
The Patriots defense that Flynn faced in 2010 gave up 258.5 passing yards per game (third-most in the NFL) and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 63.7 percent of their passes.
So, it's not like Flynn was facing outstanding defenses, just like it wasn't surprising when Kolb threw nine touchdowns to eight interceptions last season with Arizona after he threw 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions in Philadelphia.
People were looking at Flynn with rose-colored glasses after just one game last season.
Feel free to tweet me your thoughts.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!