Matt Flynn ready for QB competition with Tarvaris Jackson
Former Green Bay backup shows confidence, improvement in impromptu work out with Seahawks that team to sign him.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Matt Flynn put his best foot forward in a workout for the Seahawks on Friday.
But first, he needed to borrow some shoes.
The quarterback came to Seattle for a free-agent visit, so he wasn't exactly packed for an on-field audition. That doesn't mean he wasn't prepared when the Seahawks asked if he would show off his arm.
"I think they just wanted to see me throw," Flynn said Monday in a conference call with Seattle reporters. "See my footwork, see the different throws I could make just to get more of a familiarity with me. They asked me to do it, and I was totally up for it."
He just needed some clothes.
"They set me up with stuff," Flynn said.
The Seahawks didn't sign Flynn entirely off that workout. He has four years of experience as the Green Bay Packers' backup quarterback, and he threw for 731 yards and nine touchdowns in his two NFL starts. But Flynn's performance showed two things that are fairly important.
First, it provided an firsthand demonstration of Flynn's development and progress in the two years since Seahawks general manager John Schneider left Green Bay to come to Seattle.
"(We) asked him to do a variety of things that we had questions about," coach Pete Carroll said. "From throwing the ball in the pocket, to moving around and putting the ball down the field. He was very impressive. He has worked very hard and has improved in many ways. This is based on what John saw way back when to where he is now. He is a better athlete, a better thrower and stronger than he's ever been."
Second, the workout showed Flynn wasn't afraid of an audition, but rather was excited to show what he has. That's going to be important, because he's not walking into a situation in Seattle where he has been anointed the starting quarterback by Carroll.
Flynn has a chance to earn that job. So does Tarvaris Jackson, last season's starter.
"We're very clear how we delivered the message that we now have the opportunity to make it an open competition," Carroll said.
That competition was absent last year. Jackson was named the starter ahead of Charlie Whitehurst before Jackson even practiced with the team.
There were exceptional circumstances, though. The lockout had robbed the Seahawks — and everyone else in the NFL — of a true offseason of preparation, And while Jackson was new to the team, coming over from the Vikings, he had experience with Seattle's playbook. The Seahawks' new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, also came from Minnesota.
Seattle has a whole offseason this year. Time for Flynn to get more comfortable with the playbook and for Jackson to show he has recovered from a severely strained pectoral muscle.
"I expect T-Jack to be better, and I expect Matt to come in here guns blazing, trying to see if he can take that job," Carroll said. "It'll be a great situation for us."
The Seahawks' agreement with Flynn is more than just a hunch that he'll be good. His three-year, $26 million deal will be the second-largest contract the franchise has given to a quarterback.
Flynn is more than just a consolation prize after the Seahawks whiffed on an attempt to meet with Peyton Manning.
They went so far as sending a contingent that included Carroll to Denver in hopes of meeting with the former Colt. But when that didn't happen, the Seahawks shifted their sights to Flynn, whom most considered the second-best quarterback on the market.
And now, Seattle will have a competition to decide who will be the starter entering next season, and the Seahawks' newest quarterback has no qualms about that.
"I've always been a very competitive guy, and a very confident guy," Flynn said. "I know that I'm going to come in here and I'm going to be in a competition."
This is a player who stuck through three years at Louisiana State behind JaMarcus Russell to get his shot as a senior, then led the Tigers to a BCS title. He's not someone who wants the position handed to him.
"I've always been a firm believer in competition," Flynn said. "I think it brings the best out in everybody."
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com. On Twitter @dannyoneil.
|Tale of the tape|
|7,075||Career passing yards||1,015|
|38||Career TD passes||9|
|77.7||Career QB rating||92.8|