Matt Flynn tape vs New England

Matt Flynn could be Seattle’s starting quarterback in 2012. Or it could be Tarvaris Jackson. Or Russell Wilson. But a lot of people expect it to be Flynn. I don’t necessarily agree, because the financial outlay on Flynn is comparable to that of Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. The money won’t play a part and Flynn will win this job only by beating out the other contenders. Which he may do. But I think it’s going to be tighter than most think and Wilson can win this job.

The tape of Flynn’s performance against Detroit gets a lot of views because it’s such a productive display. I wanted to publish the tape of his first of two starts against New England. This is from 2010, the season that Green Bay won the Super Bowl.


  1. Hawksince77

    Well, one difference between Flynn and Wilson jumps out with this tape: Wilson actually makes the tackle when he throws the int, whereas Flynn fails to wrap up and drop the guy.

  2. James

    No surprises here, but we learn a lot about Matt:


    Calm and cool demeanor
    Takes what the D gives him, matriculates the ball down the field w/short passes
    Very accurrate arm
    Makes his progressions, w/quick decisions
    Consistent fundamentals


    Not a strong arm, will not loosen defenses
    Not athletic, will get sacked

    …in other words, Matt is the anti-Tarvaris. They flip each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Matt is clearly the better QB, as T-Jack just has too many flaws. Having watched so much tape on Wilson, Russell is superior to Matt in a number of areas. He is dynamic, the offense is just electric with him leading it…he is a playmaker. Russell has a much stronger arm and will be much far difficult to sack, for even Russell’s height has a positive element, in that he is incredibly quick and balanced. He moves in the pocket with ease and can side-step a sack almost without effort. Russell will win the job, either this year or next. Knowing Pete, it will be this year.

    • Phil

      Let the “competition” show us who our QB should be — Wilson has never taken a snap in the NFL, but you have already decided he will win the job. If he does, fine.

    • plyka

      Comparing Wilson with Flynn is premature at best. Wilson has not yet earned the right to even be compared with Flynn, lol. If you want to compare the two, compare the flynn of 5 years ago with today’s Wilson, the Flynn who won the BCS championship with the Wilson who played in the Rose Bowl last year. Of course that’s still not being fair to Flynn since he is so much better today than he was then.

      There is literally no doubt that Flynn will play major games this year if injuries/off field issues don’t play a role. I’ve always thought that all you need to see of a QB is their first NFL start to really be able to say, yes they have it. Flynn has it. He will be a success in the NFL. of course this doesn’t mean that players that play horribly in their first start will never be successful NFL QBs. The first NFL start can prove to me that the QB has it and will be a success in the NFL, but it’s not enough to disqualify an NFL quarterback from ever making it if they play bad.

  3. TK

    lets not forget here that any tape we have seen of Russell is from college, not the pros. I thought Matt looked pretty good, he didn’t get a ton of help from his recievers at times, and displayed a short memory in terms of getting the ball back into the hands of guys who had dropped passes previously. The pass at 1:78 was sweet, a better thrown ball than anything I saw from TJ last year.

    I also liked the gutsy throws, again, anti-tj throws.

  4. adam

    not sure what kind of defense N.E was playing for most of the tape…i dont think they had a very good pass defense that year? Not sure, but Flynn seemed a little indecisive as in…he never once threw the ball more than 20 yards down the field with accuracy and zip. Usually qbs who sort of go from back ups to franchise type qbs…outliers in a sense…have a knack for throwing the ball downfield…Kurt Warner, Rodgers, Schaub…come to mind. Dink and dunk qbs…not so much success…especially in a run based offense. Maybe it was the defense NE was playing since every time on this tape that Flynn threw the ball downfield…it was into double coverage. Perhaps his indecision is the result of his weak arm?

    • Kevin S.

      This was the season they went 14-2 so they must have had a pretty good defense despite if they had bad looking stats.

  5. Bobby Cink

    He made some pretty bad decisions throwing into double coverage on those interceptions…

  6. Michael (CLT)

    We will all know soon enough. August just 10 weeks away.

  7. Vin

    I agree with what’s already been said regarding his strengths/weaknesses. You cant blame a guy for taking hat a defense gives him. I’ll cut him a bit of slack for the INTs, but still those were avoidable. Agreed that his receivers didnt do him any favors a few times. He seemed to be under pressure all game long, but overall, he didnt seem too flustered. If our OL can give more time than GBs, im really interested in what he’s capable of here. Ill definitely take him any day over TJax.

  8. A. Simmons

    Matt didn’t look as good in the New England game as he did in the Detroit game. Belichek makes a lot of QBs look worse than they are. I think he did pretty well for a backup coming in for his first start. I hear people bringing up level of competition and other criticisms. But for two starts he looked pretty good. You don’t see many QBs who usually spend their time riding the bench come off it and play as well as Flynn. I don’t see that as much of a criticism. We should see Flynn make mistakes starting his first time. I’d like to see what he can do in command for a season. Seems all Flynn has done is prove his detractors wrong and keep improving year over year from college to the pros. He seems pretty determined to prove he can play at this level and win.

  9. OZ

    He remind’s me a lot of Hass when he first started for the Hawks. his deep ball is a little sketchy with trouble getting the ball out in front of reciever’s. I would like to see him throw reciever’s open more often. Throwing into double coverage is something I hope he has rectifide. He look’s very competitive.

  10. Belgaron

    The only way he doesn’t start the season as the starter is if he gets injured, same with Wilson as backup. Tarvaris Jackson will be available to re-sign if either of them gets hurt but he doesn’t make the roster as he is too slow working through progressions and can’t lead intense drives such as a 4th quarter must-score situation. Clinton Portis continues as 3rd string project.

    • Rob Staton

      Nobody can talk that confidently about what will happen. This is wide open.

      • Belgaron

        Pete Carol does all things in terms of motivating his players. He doesn’t want Wilson locked into being excited about being the backup, not this year nor any year. He wants backups competing to be the starters. Things can always change depending on performance but as of right now Flynn is the man to beat and will be the starter unless one of the other two beat him out by a wide margin. He will get the benefit of the doubt and win all ties due to experience and the point he is in his career.

        Could Wilson be the starter this year? Due to injury – absolutely. But if everyone is healthy and competing at their strengths, that would be unlikely. He is still a rookie and will benefit from time as the backup. At this point, there would would not be benefit to putting Flynn in the backup spot and starting the rookie. Why do that if you don’t have to? Even if they feel Wilson will be the starter by the end of the year, he would still start out as the backup.

        • Rob Staton

          Wilson is competing to start. You’re trying too hard to find a way for that not to be the case. If Carroll thinks Wilson is the better player and give Seattle a better chance to win games, he starts. Simple as that.

          • Belgaron

            You never tell your wife you think her outfit makes her look fat. Even if you don’t like the outfit, you are not that stupid. PC is also not so stupid as to say “TJack hit the road, Wilson grab a clipboard”, it’s just not the way you handle guys that you could need, or in the case of Wilson, have vast expectations in the future. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t already have some expectation of the way things will pan out. But as fans we don’t have players caring what we say and we speak unfiltered. Again, this doesn’t mean things could not change. But as of right now there is definitely an expected pecking order in the QBs and it will be up to them to show it is otherwise. As of right now Flynn is #1 and it is his spot to lose if he falters. Whether Wilson is told he has a real shot at starting or even if PC said he is the backup, he still has the desire to prove people wrong–that’s one of the reasons we’re excited about him. It would be interesting if TJack progressed and outplayed the other two because he is expected to continue to read defenses the way he has.

            I agree with you that if PC feels his best chance to win will be with Wilson, he will start. But as of today, I do not think he is there, nor do I think he will be there at the end of pre-season. But a great QB changes perceptions and expectations and if Wilson is as great as he appears to possibly be, it’s all up to him to make it happen, even as soon as this year. If he does that, no one will care who the other players are on the roster at QB. They won’t care how much they were paid and they won’t care how much experience they have. That just won’t matter because it would probably be accompanied by great statistics in games and accompanying wins.

            • Rob Staton

              We have no way of knowing who is there right now, Wilson or anyone else. It’s May. Carroll’s competition mantra isn’t designed to avoid upsetting Jackson’s feelings or to give Wilson a boost. It’s sincere and honest. This is a three-way competition. There’s no point trying to look too deeply into what Carroll’s thinking because this is what he says it is – a competition. If Wilson proves he’s the better QB he starts, and right now nobody knows if he is the better QB or not. He may well be, and if he is he starts. But Carroll is being very honest here – this is a competition and may the best man win. Nobody has an edge.

              • Belgaron

                I don’t think we disagree, I just don’t think if the competition was over today, he’d be flipping a coin because they are all equal, there is already a pecking order that would need to be overcome for something else to happen. Deep down, they all know where they stand and what has to happen for them to be named starter. Last year TJack got the nod due to a lack of training camp and bringing in Bevell’s offense. This year TJack goes in as the proverbial 1st team starter but he’s on a 1 year deal and is no longer the highest paid QB on the team, those items speak louder than words. Wilson is a hotshot rookie but he is still a backup until he beats the veterans out on the field or gets his shot due to injury.

            • A. Simmons

              I have to disagree with you. You don’t quite understand Wiilson if you think he doesn’t have a shot at starting. If he outplays Flynn, he’ll start. There is a chance he does so. Wilson has certain advantages over both Flynn and Jackson that are visible when you watch him play. Wilson is more athletic than Flynn and can keep plays alive longer on that alone at times. He’s a better decision maker and smarter with how he uses his athleticism than Jackson. Basically combine what Flynn does well and what Jackson offers, you have Wilson with some traits of his own that he brings to the table. Only problem is he is 3 inches too short. Which our head coach already knows well enough about and won’t take into account. All Pete Carroll cares about is how Wilson plays. Pete signed off on drafting Wilson. He will give him every chance to succeed including starting this year if he wins the job. It won’t be easy. I wouldn’t discount Pete’s competition mantra as lip service.

      • plyka

        No way this is wide open. There is literally no possible way of not giving Flynn major starting attempts next year. The decision is not even in Pete’s hands. Just go through a couple different scenarios to see how they will play out:

        #1: Tarvaris starts, Flynn backup

        This is the least likely scenario. Putting Tjak in such a predicament should be illegal. The pressure on tjak would be immense. The fans would start booing him out of the gate. Why did we sign Flynn to only start an automatic loser is the only thing which will go through fan’s minds. His first mistake would bring on boos, by his first loss, the entire stadium would be booing the kid. Without first giving Flynn a chance, i see no way that cirumstance would allow tjak to play.

        #2: Wilson starts, Flynn backup

        This scenario i admit is more likely than the first. At least here the fans would be placated coming out of the gates. But it would not take much of bad play from Wilson to get the boo birds out in full force and the critics of Pete and his QB decisions which we have all already heard, would be back. You know, he traded for Whitehurst, he went with a known loser in tjak. And now he has a “proven” QB in Flynn and instead decides to throw Wilson in the fire when he is not ready? Pete just doesn’t know QBs.

        I literally cannot fathom a scenario that has Flynn not starting a significant number of games without injury/off field issues.

        • Rob Staton

          I’d start to fathom it then. Flynn has no advantage over the other two guys. He’s one of three who will compete to start. Flynn is not ‘proven’ at all. He has two starts in the most high powered passing offense in the league. We have no idea if he can be a success elsewhere. If he was a ‘proven’ quarterback, then one single team would’ve banged the table to sign him in free agency. None did.

          It’s time to embrace that Pete Carroll isn’t a liar and is always up front with the fans on things like this. He says it’s an open competition. Therefore it’s wide open and anyone’s to win.

  11. Phil

    For those who weren’t counting, Matt was 23/37 for 254 yds. with 2 interceptions. I counted 3 drops.

    I found this quote from Wikipedia interesting. “In 2008, he (Flynn)won the competition for the back-up role to Aaron Rodgers, beating out fellow rookie and second-round pick Brian Brohm.[5] The battle for the second-string position became the most intriguing battle in camp.[6] Flynn was seen as being less talented than Brohm because of Brohm’s superior size, arm and foot speed, coupled with the fact that Brohm was selected much higher in the draft compared to Flynn.[7]

    Let the competition begin.

  12. adam

    Is Flynn a “we want the ball and we’re gonna win” type of quarterback? I know Hasslebeck had some poor play in his first attempt at starting, but never indecision when throwing the ball downfield. I think Hasslebeck was a much a better quarterback than Flynn at their respective departures from Green Bay, it’s easy for me to say now with the benefit of history, but Holmgren was\is(perhaps) a pretty good qb guru/guy, and he had to have Hasslebeck, but nobody really wanted Flynn. Has a noodle armed quarterback ever won a superbowl? I think Hass had a stronger arm than Flynn, is this the main difference between the two back up qb’s when they left Green Bay?

    • Belgaron

      Saying no one wanted Flynn is not accurate. Cleveland like him but felt they had a similar talent in Colt McCoy. Miami wanted him but was inept in their pursuit and was significantly out-classed by Seattle in terms of the organization and leadership. Also, Flynn suffered greatly in terms of timing because Kevin Kolb made teams very leery to go big on a guy that needs to prove himself over a full season. Then with many teams distracted by the all or bust mentality of acquiring Peyton Manning, it was a bit of an odd year for a free agent QB. Flynn is still the type of talent that could have many teams feeling unwise for not bringing him in. Teams like Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, Arizona, Denver, the NY Jets, or a few others who will realize during the season that they need a QB.

    • A. Simmons

      You also have to understand the market was affected by Kevin Kolb and Matt Cassel. Both of them are viewed as not living up to their promise. If either one of them succeeds, then you can bet Flynn makes a lot of money in free agency. Kolb and Cassel can thank Matt Schaub for their contracts. His success made other teams willing to spend to find the hot backup QB that can be a starter. Schaub was a rarity and even he has yet to lead his team on a deep playoff run. That means Flynn’s value was negatively impacted and that helped Seattle obtain him for a very moderate, low risk price. It had nothing to do with Flynn’s ability. NFL FOs are a copycat league and are very careful about their reputation. No one wants to end up looking foolish like Arizona’s FO does because of the Kolb deal or KC because of Cassel.

      • Jake

        Additionally, most of the QB needy teams (Colts, Redskins, Vikings, Jaguars, Dolphins, 49ers, Browns, Seahawks, Titans, Broncos, Cardinals) either have a young 1st rounder (2nd for 49ers), intended on drafting one – or got caught up in the Manning sweepstakes. Seattle got a sweet deal because of other team’s panic – nice to be on the side of sanity.

        Within our division, the Seahawks went from a bottom 2 QB situation (Cards), to potentially the best (depending on your position with regards to Bradford).

        Personally, Bradford’s injury history (shoulder) is enough for me to disregard him. He has talent, but he doesn’t make his team better because he doesn’t play enough, nor does he make big throws in big games. When he actually plays, he takes the easy short throw every time. I haven’t seen anything in his game that makes me believe he will be a top-10 QB, then when you consider his injury history – no thank you. The other thing that comes with Mr. Bradford is that contract… The last #1 overall super deal – it could hamstring the team for years when it comes to resigning key players (specifically Long and Laurinitis). The Rams need a full roster overhaul to make the team competitive and that’s going to be tough with such a big chunk of cash locked up with one guy. That’s going to really hurt when they start trying to build quality depth.

  13. AlaskaHawk

    First of all this tape is from 2009. So three years ago. He came pretty close against New England, which is usually a hard team to beat, but not necessarily because of defense. Usually turns into a shooting match with them. I have no idea what their defense was like that year.

    Second, this whole noodle arm thing is overblown. Did any QB ever win a superbowl with a noodle arm? Sure – did you ever hear of Joe Montana, I think that someone was comparing Russell Wilson to him. Montana rarely passed over 10-15 yards, it was his receivers who made up the extra yardage.

    Third, I doubt that Flynn is defiicient in the passing game, or his arm is weak, when he just set a team record for passing in Green Bay. Does he want to win -sure he does.

    THe thing that continues to bug me is that no matter what records Flynn set in the past, it doesn’t matter to some people. And whatever he does in the future, unless he wins the division this year and every year, someone will say we should have used Wilson.

    Lets just have a fair competition and let the best man win.

    • Phil


    • Rob Staton

      That was my mistake, it’s from 2010. And I don’t think anyone has to be ‘that’ defensive of Flynn. He’s faced hardly any criticism. Some people rate Wilson higher, that’s really about it. I don’t care about single game records because anyone can have a great day against the right opponent. We’ll see who wins the competition and they’ll no doubt be backed by the Seahawks fans.

      • Belgaron

        While there have not been harsh critics of Flynn on this site, there are some nation -wide NFL guys who are down on him. A few believe he will fail and a few believe he will be a “game manager” at best–the kind of QB a team can win in spite of (especially with a top defense) but won’t lead them to any wins.

        From what I’ve heard and seen, he will continue to be called the second coming of Matt Hasselback, who was not a bad QB for the Seahawks.

        By contrast, Wilson probably has more upside. He will eventually start in Seattle and will defy the prototype by becoming a great QB at 5’11”, but probably not this year. But we may get glimpses of what is to come as soon as the pre-season.

    • adam

      While he has Rice at receiver, her certainly does not have Bill Walsh calling the game. Instead he has Bevell. I dont think weak armed qb’s work well in a run first offense…which seems to be the direction that PC\DB want to move this offense. Do they work well in a west coast pass first rhythm offense where the qb drops three steps, makes quick reads and short throws? Of course…the only receiver we have that fits that system is Baldwin. They work even better when Bill Walsh is calling a offense that was never really seen or even imagined before.

      • Belgaron

        Saying Seattle needs to go pure Run’N Shoot to be successful is ridiculous. That approach is old news in today’s NFL. The change in rules makes two TE sets which favor a strong running/passing balance is definitely the way to go in the modern NFL. Bevell knows this well and will continue to have an improved offense as the talent on that side continues to be upgraded year after year. Flynn and Wilson at QB is a noteworthy increase in talent over what he had to work with last year–and the results will show on the field, especially in year two of Cables approach on the line.

        • Steen

          Run/pass balance? That supposed trend, isn’t backed up by any of the Passing stats.

    • A. Simmons

      Not many QBs live on the long ball. But even Montana could deliver it once in a while. Montana had elite mobility and pocket awareness. Russell is a better overall athlete than Montana, but they play very similarly from what I have seen.

      Flynn is more like Hasselbeck. Like you said Hass was a pretty good QB, but not elite. He never won us a Super Bowl. I want a QB that is going to elevate our entire team. Wilson seems a lot closer to being able to do that. But I’ll support Flynn if he earns his shot for a reason other than we’re paying him 10 million guaranteed. Money should rarely be in the equation when choosing players to play.

      • Jake

        Since Brees, Brady, Manning x2, and Rodgers are otherwise employed… I would happily welcome in a young Hasselbeck clone (if that’s what Flynn becomes). At his best, Hass was a top-5 QB and absolutely elevated the play of his teammates. His field confidence, ability to read a defense and ability to throw receivers open was among the best in the NFL. He was a big-play QB, who made the big throw by seeing it quickly and being decisive and accurate. His only flaw was that he didn’t have a Howitzer, but he had “functional” arm strength that when combined with his skills made him overcome it. So does Flynn. So, while it’s an easy comparison (and a lazy one), I am intrigued by Matthew Flynn because he seems to possess the qualities (and flaws) that Matthew Hasselbeck proved could take the team to the Super Bowl.

        • A. Simmons

          I guess I would be ok with a second Hasselbeck. I’d rather get a Hall of Famer. I know those are almost impossible to find. I’d prefer a more dynamic QB as well. Hass had maybe two years where he was top 5 a the other three years he was top 10 or 15. He never came close to matching top tier QBs like Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers, or their like. He won’t even touch the top all time list. He’s a Seattle legend. He won’t even be remembered by the general NFL fan. I’d like to see us get lucky and get a QB that the league take notice of, that puts us on the map in a big way.

  14. Phil S.

    Watching this tape, you can see that while Flynn has a very quick release, he has a bit of a windup when he wants to put some zip on or throw deep. He drops the ball down behind him. I went back and rewatched the 2011 game (Lions) and he had corrected that. He’s throwing deep balls and zip passes from his ear. It sure looks like his arm strength has improved.

  15. woofu

    IF, as A56 reported at Scout, that Seattle was set to take both Tannehill AND Wilson, then an open Qb competition was always going to happen. They were preparred for it to be Flynn, Tanny and Wilson which may speak loudly about TJack and Portis because they were not going to manage a 4-way battle.

    I see no reason to think TJ is out of it and no reason to believe Pete won’t drop-kick anyone who feels entitled. TJ, under the above scenario, was good enough to not trade up for Tanny and but expendable if Tanny got past Miami.

    Of course A56 could be mistaken or not real, but if you read enough of him over time it is very convincing that he was a former player and VMAC insider who was in the war room. I’ve been around long enough to spot the fakes.

    Since it never happened (Tanny), all we can speak to is the mind set that would have let it be and the implications of what they were willing to do.

    • Rob Staton

      The Seahawks were never going to take Tannehill in round one, and I’d be very suspicious of that ‘source’.

      • woofu

        Spy vs Spy 🙂

        I’m not suspicious at all. Watchful, yes.. I asked Brock to look into it.

        Even without him involved I followed my gut on this one and came to that conclusion, sans Wilson.

        • Rob Staton

          Well I’m not a spy, and neither is the source I reference. We don’t deal with ‘hear say’ like this guy on the Scout forum who claims to work for the team and over hear things. I guarantee you that from the outset Seattle’s approach was not to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds and that getting a pass rusher was the absolute key priority. I heard that in January, and Seattle drafted a pure pass rusher in round one. No quarterback in the first two rounds. I would recommend ignoring that guy, but it’s just my two cents.

          • woofu

            If I ignored him, proof either way would be overlooked. Not my style.

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