COMMENTARY | Matt Flynn has been biding his time.
Now he is ready to enact revenge on Ron Jaworski and the skeptics.
Terrelle Pryor, who replaced Flynn as the starting quarterback in the preseason, is unlikely to play the Washington Redskins in Week 4 due to a concussion, according to Adam Schefter. Odds are the Oakland Raiders will give Flynn the nod for his third professional start, and his first since the 2011 campaign.
It's been a hard road for Flynn. Since leading LSU to the 2008 BCS Championship, the signal caller has been often doubted for his physical limitations. Flynn slipped to the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft due to concerns with his arm strength, and when given an opportunity to start for the 2012 Seattle Seahawks, he was beaten by Russell Wilson (no shame in that).
This summer seemed to be his best chance yet, but the electricity of Pryor and a porous offensive line put a stop to those dreams.
A month after the benching, Flynn is hardened physically and emotionally and prepared for the challenge of leading an NFL offense.
"Nothing has shaken my confidence in myself, so I'm going to go out there…and do the best that I can." Flynn told Csnbayarea.com.
Flynn's mind sounds ready to go, but he won't have much help. The stationary passer's survival depends on an injury-riddled front five, which has failed to keep Pryor upright. The Redskins will likely throw the bathroom sink at Flynn, so when hurried he'll need to trust the route running of Denarius Moore, Rod Streater and Mychal Rivera (and expect a gamble or three from DeAngelo Hall).
Flynn doesn't have a stellar cast like he did with the Green Bay Packers, but the 28-year-old does own valuable intangibles, starting with his newfound health.
"My arm's fresher…in the offseason, it probably wasn't in as good shape as it needed to be going into training camp…things have strengthened."
Along with a revitalized throwing arm, Flynn possesses sure accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws. Assuming offensive coordinator Greg Olsen calls more three-step drops to protect the quarterback, the sixth-year pro should be sharp.
Flynn's performance will allow a more accurate assessment of his current value and future in the NFL. The veteran can't unseat Pryor and would cause a cap hit of $7,625,000 if he is cut in the offseason, so Oakland would love to improve his stock with one year in his contract remaining. Flynn still believes he can be a regular starter, so a strong showing may put him in the crosshairs of a quarterback-needy team.It seems the moment of truth has arrived. All Flynn must do is win in the O.co Coliseum and maybe score six touchdowns again.
Rui Thomas is a freelance sportswriter who is published by Goldengatesports.com, Sportsoutwest.com, Fannation.com and Radiosurvivor.com. Read his tweets @MrRuiThomas.
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