After Further Review: One good start doesn’t mean Flynn is worth big deal
One particular of the hottest totally free agents on the market place this year will be a quarterback who was a seventh-round draft choose and has thrown 132 passes in his four seasons in the NFL.
That résumé begs this question: Is Green Bay Packers backup Matt Flynn really worth a big-money deal after sitting behind Aaron Rodgers?
That’s the query several scouts and personnel men and women are pondering as we close in on totally free agency. Do you pay out him a massive deal primarily based on prospective, rather than production?
“In my viewpoint, he’s ready to be an NFL starter,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy mentioned last week at the scouting combine. “If I was a club and was hunting for a good youthful quarterback, he’s definitely an individual I’d talk to.”
Numerous teams are expected to take into account making a move on Flynn. The Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns are two of them. Both will run methods similar to what Flynn ran in Green Bay.
After studying him closely, I feel that is important.
I wished to get a far better gauge on Flynn, so I popped in the tape from his season-ending begin against the Detroit Lions. The numbers mentioned he was sensational.
The tape mentioned he was just good.
Flynn threw for a franchise-record 480 yards and 6 TDs in a 45-41 victory above the Lions, with the winning touchdown pass coming in the last two minutes.
People numbers have been a bit deceiving. He got 80 yards on a screen pass for a touchdown to Ryan Grant, which happened to be a fantastic phone that was blocked perfectly against a blitz. He also got a extended touchdown to Jordy Nelson on a perform that was a “cost-free” a single considering that the Lions had jumped offside. That meant there was small danger on the prolonged throw.
That doesn’t indicate he didn’t do some good factors. He certainly did. There had been times where I had to make certain it wasn’t No. twelve (Rodgers) behind center rather than No. ten (Flynn). He undoubtedly mimics Rodgers in the way he hands the ball off, plays out his fakes and gets into his drops.
But the similarity ends when he throws the football. Rodgers has a rocket. Flynn’s arm is good — not great.
It was a windy day when he played the Lions, so that had some effect on his throws, but I just didn’t see the huge arm. That would concern me if I had been taking into consideration having to pay him.
There was some excellent and terrible about his performance that day. Here’s how I noticed him in that game in a handful of categories.
Seeing the area is one thing he did impressively. On numerous throws, I could see him seem to the correct or to the left, and then come back to the opposite side to make a completion.
On a third-and-4 at the Detroit twenty in the initial quarter, Flynn showed off his capacity to influence a defense with his eyes. Following taking the snap in the shotgun, he looked to his correct exactly where he had two receivers. Neither one particular was open, so in an immediate he spun his head to the left and noticed tight end Jermichael Finley in the middle of the area beating safety Amari Spievey. He hit him with a strike for 13 yards and a initial down.
That type of field vision was some thing he seemed to have a great feel for. There had been other times where he looked to the middle and came off of that receiver to make a throw to the outdoors.
I mentioned earlier that his arm wasn’t excellent, but good adequate. On his 2nd snap of the game, he attempted to throw deep to Nelson but the ball fluttered and fell quick. The wind could have influenced that throw, even though it was challenging to tell. On the up coming perform, he was sacked, fumbled and the Lions recovered.
But he did make two excellent throws deep for large plays that seemed to show his arm was capable of generating all the throws.
The most remarkable came on the last drive when he hit James Jones for a 40-yard play to set up the winning score. It was a play in which Flynn took the snap, looked to the middle initial and then came off the middle receiver to the correct, in which he hit Jones with a excellent above-the-shoulder pass for a first-and-goal at the six.
Earlier in the game, he produced a dart-like throw to Nelson for a initial down in the middle of the area.
The flip side is his lone interception, which exhibits some arm-strength issues. On that play, he took a snap out of the shotgun on 1st-and-10 from the Lions 38, faked a handoff to the back and looked for an immediate to the right, before coming back to try out and hit Nelson on a slant on the left side of the formation.
Lions corner Alphonso Smith, taking part in off-guy, read it and jumped the route. With Rodgers, the ball gets there in time. With Flynn, it didn’t and Smith picked it off.
Flynn did a wonderful work moving around to escape pressure, which was plentiful at occasions.
On a third-and-six from his 46 in the initial quarter, he took a snap in the shotgun with 4 receivers, two to each side. The Lions were in guy coverage with a single-large safety. Flynn study that, but the receivers didn’t win to get open.
Stress began breaking down the pocket, so he moved away from it to his left. He kept his head up even though moving and discovered Nelson breaking free and hit him for 18 yards. As he threw, Cliff Avril pounded him to the ground. That showed toughness.
Most young quarterbacks would run in that situation, but Flynn kept his head up and created a perform.
This is a concern for me. Windows open and near swiftly. A quarterback has to see the receiver coming open and anticipate the throws. You can’t wait.
As well typically, I thought Flynn waited for the receiver to come completely open. Even on 1 of his touchdown passes that was the case.
On that perform, Green Bay had a second-and-seven from the Detroit 42. The Packers had been in maximum safety, so it was a two-guy route.
Flynn took the snap in the shotgun and looked to Nelson on the appropriate side. Nelson faked a deep out and ran the post against Chris Houston in man coverage. He beat Houston with the fake, but Flynn held the ball as well prolonged. He permitted the safety to come more than and get in the picture.
Even so, he was able to hit Nelson, who produced a great catch on a pass that wasn’t completely precise. The delay in throwing permitted Houston to recover some and get back into the play. If the security had played it much better, the ball could have been picked off. As an alternative it was a 59-yard touchdown pass to help pad the stat line.
Anticipating receivers coming open is a challenging hurdle for young quarterbacks. Flynn has to do better in that spot. Time will support.
It wasn’t wonderful. It wasn’t bad.
That tends to make him considerably of a dicey proposition based on this game.
It undoubtedly wasn’t a functionality as good as the numbers would indicate. Even his 2nd-to-final touchdown was a bit of excellent fortune.
With two receivers to his appropriate and Finley lined up in-line on the right side, Flynn took the snap in the shotgun on a 3rd-and-eight at the Detroit 35. With Finley running a small curl in the middle of the area, Flynn looked to be throwing to him.
But as the ball was in the air, Donald Driver crossed in front of Finley and picked the ball out of the air and raced untouched into the end zone for a score.
The play could have been created for that, but it was evident in the way the ball was delivered that Flynn was throwing to Finley and not Driver — even if nobody will admit that.
Watching this game would leave me wanting far more. And that is the dilemma, there is not a lot more. He has just one other start off, in 2010 against the Patriots. He put up great numbers that day, throwing for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns, but as this Lions game taught us numbers can be deceiving.
Signing him to a enormous deal is basically rolling the dice he can be a Super Bowl-quality starter.
The Lions game leaves that query, regardless of the gaudy numbers, nevertheless unanswered in my mind.