Matt Flynn and the Face of the New Oakland Raiders
Big-armed, tall, flashy, high draft-pick... all words describing an Oakland Raiders quarterback (see Russell, Jamarcus).
However, none of these words characterize Matt Flynn, the latest in a long list of men tasked with bringing glory back to the Silver and Black (via USA Today). Flynn, a former seventh-round draft pick, has never had a strong arm and he's anything but flashy. But in Green Bay, he made as big an impact as one can have while holding a clipboard for Aaron Rodgers.
In just two career starts Flynn manhandled Detroit for a Packer record six touchdown passes and nearly defeated Tom Brady. His performances earned him $25 million over three years with the Seattle Seahawks. However, thanks to rookie sensation Russell Wilson, Flynn remained a backup in 2012.
By not starting a single game, Flynn maintained his value and the perception that he can be a starter in the NFL. But why would the Raiders, known for unruliness, bravado and men in spiky shoulder pads, take a chance on such a boring, conservative quarterback like Flynn?
Maybe the Raiders are just plain sick of being the loudest losers in the NFL.
Flynn has the opportunity to be the face of the "new" Oakland Raiders. A team that doesn't draft players based on skills that would make them good Madden players. A team that doesn't trade a first-round draft pick for a quarterback who threatened his previous team with retirement.
But whether or not Flynn can turn Oakland into a winner will depend upon new general manager Reggie McKenzie, who helped draft Flynn in Green Bay. The Raiders need help on both sides of the ball, which McKenzie will look to address in this month's NFL draft.
However, regardless of who the Raiders draft, nobody expects much from Flynn and Co. in 2013, which is a blessing. Flynn won't face the pressures that deflated the career of JaMarcus Russell and ran Carson Palmer out of town. Those guys were high draft picks and carried substantially higher price tags.
Flynn arrives in Oakland with the same quiet demeanor he displayed in Green Bay. He'll never be big-armed, tall or flashy, but after a decade of losing with that formula, he might be just what Oakland needs.
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