Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is Matt Flynn the answer to the Seahawks quarterback problem?

By Kshell

Last week I wrote a piece on how only elite quarterbacks win in the NFL and how the Seahawks right now don't have that quarterback. The Seahawks are left with three choices this offseason which is to sign Matt Flynn who the Green Bay Packers announced they won't franchise, take a risk on Peyton Manning or draft a quarterback. In this piece I'll explore in my opinion the best option which is going hard after Matt Flynn. Just like with the other two options Flynn can offer up a high ceiling but can also blow up in the Seahawks face. I personally feel Flynn is the safest option. I don't know if he is a future hall of famer but I would guarantee he'll play in a few pro bowls with the Seahawks. Despite making only two career starts in the NFL(both were great) Flynn is in high demand as the Seahawks will be competing with the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and a few more teams for his services.

What has teams excited about Flynn is what he did in those two starts specifically his last start against the Detroit Lions in the last week of the season. For his career Flynn has completed 82 of 132(62.1%) passes for 1,015 yards(7.7 YPA) with nine touchdowns to just five interceptions. He has a quarterback rating of 92.8 for his career. The former seventh round pick from LSU has been backing up Aaron Rodgers for the past four years. After playing well in his first career start last year at New England this year Flynn really got everyone excited after his week 17 pefromance against the Detroit Lions. In that game the Packers defeated the playoff bound Lions 45-41 as Flynn completed 31-44(70.5%) passes for 480 yards(10.9 YPA) with six touchdowns to just one interception. Flynn's rating for the game was 136.4 as he beat out Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers for most passing yards and touchdowns in a single game for Packers history. Flynn has proven in his limited playing time that he is capable of producing at the NFL level. The Seahawks have also had a good history with quarterbacks from the Packers system in years past as well.

Back in 2000 the Seahawks were in a similar situation trying to find a quarterback. That is when Mike Holmgren made the risky move by trading for Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck who had only completed 13-29 passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns as he was Brett Favre's backup with the Packers. The Hasselbeck move backfired on Holmgren at first as he struggled in 2001 and 2002 losing his job to Trent Dilfer. Towards the end of 2002 Hasselbeck finally started to reward Holmgren's faith and he carried that into 2003 with a pro bowl season and leading the Seahawks to the playoffs for the first time in four years. Hasselbeck would lead the Seahawks to the playoffs five straight years and six out of eight seasons. Hasselbeck went on to play in three pro bowls including the Super Bowl in 2005. When it was all said and done nobody was laughing at Holmgren for making the risky move of acquiring the unknown backup quarterback from Green Bay. Holmgren didn't just randomly go after a backup quarterback like Pete Carroll had done with Charlie Whitehurst. Holmgren drafted Hasselbeck in Green Bay in 1998 in the sixth round. Holmgren knew who his quarterback was when he traded for him. Just like the Seahawks are now in a similar situation in their current front office.

The Seahawks current general manager John Schneider comes from the Packers organization and was part of drafting Matt Flynn from LSU. Flynn only started one year at  LSU but that year he won a national championship that year. Despite that he was only a seventh round pick. If the Seahawks decide Flynn is the guy you have to like the fact that Schneider like Holgmren with Hasselbeck knows this player first hand. Schneider has had a good track record on players so far and if he feels Flynn is the guy I trust that decision. Carroll knows the Seahawks need a quarterback as they had five guys make the pro bowl but only went 7-9. Flynn could be the answer the Seahawks are looking for at the quarterback position. Flynn may be inexperienced but has proven in limited time he can be a successful quarterback in the NFL. Schneider has already drafted two pro bowlers, signed an unknown as a pro bowler while trading for another pro bowler. Schneider has proven track record in his short time in Seattle and if he feels Flynn is the right guy then so do I.

The Seahawks have three options this offseason on the quarterback position and I've answered one of them. I'm sold on going after Matt Flynn as I think he can be another Matt Hasselbeck for this franchise. He can be that guy who leads the Seahawks to the playoffs for consecutive years just like Hasselbeck did. Can Flynn lead the Seahawks to the ultimate prize? Perhaps. He could end up being like a Roethlisberger or Eli Manning where he is a lower tier on the elite scale. If the Seahawks sign Flynn remember the guy who is signing him knows him first hand as he drafted him in Green Bay. That has to have Seahawk fans happy knowing that. Signing Flynn is a risk but in this league you have to take risks to win titles and I believe Flynn can be that guy.

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