At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Matt Flynn had yet to reach free agency. That prevented coaches on other teams from discussing the coveted backup QB for the Packers.
But Brian Billick is a former NFL coach who now works for Fox as an analyst, and he was all-in on Flynn – who eventually agreed to sign with the Seahawks. Billick was in the booth for the Packers’ regular-season finale, when Flynn set club records by passing for 480 yards and six touchdowns while replacing Aaron Rodgers in the 45-41 victory over the Lions.
“It was a spectacular game against a team that was highly motivated and pretty good,” Billick said. “So it wasn’t like it was a throwaway game and a guy throws six touchdowns against a team that was lying down. And he was having to keep up with Matthew Stafford, who had a pretty good game as well (520 yards and five TDs).
“The problem is, we’ve been down this road as a league many times. Players who have a limited database – two games. The Cody Carlsons, for those who want to go back. The Rob Johnsons. Now we’ve had some players, whether it be a Matt Hasselbeck, whether it be a (Matt) Schaub, that have gone on and done pretty good. But it’s a roll of the dice because you have a limited amount of data.”
Now, it’s up to Flynn to take his limited exposure to the next level, as Hasselbeck and others were able to do.
“Yeah, you like what you see in a Matt Flynn,” Billick said. “Does it extrapolate? What happens on the entire season? We’re going to see all of Matt Flynn in 16 games. Yeah, you’re going to pay for that. But what you have to pay versus the risk on a draft choice? Probably a pretty good risk. But it is a risk. You pay your money you take your chances.”
First, Flynn has to compete with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson to get that chance for a 16-start season and the opportunity to show the limited risk the Seahawks took was worth it.