We used to be in there, now we’re out here
The film of their own game – an eminently avoidable 23-20 overtime loss to Arizona — will show Tarvaris Jackson yet again missing his receivers, turning the ball over and failing to rally his team to victory. This was the fifth time this season Jackson had a chance to be the hero, and he whiffed for the fifth time. Carroll has to know the Seahawks will never win a playoff game with him at quarterback.
While Carroll is re-watching Jackson fail again, Schneider should be watching Matt Flynn set a Packers record with 480 yards and six touchdown passes against Detroit. Flynn and Matthew Stafford staged the NFL version of the Alamo Bowl in the Packers’ 45-41 win, becoming the first QBs to throw for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns in the same game.
Yeah, Flynn had some excellent receivers helping him, but he did something not even Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers has done.
“Just think of all of the great quarterbacks that have come through here,” Flynn told reporters. “It’s very humbling. I just thank everybody around me. I couldn’t have done it, obviously, by myself. There (are) weapons all around me, and the line did a great job.”
As great as Rodgers has been this season, Flynn’s performance both elevated his status and slightly diminished Rodgers’ achievements — showing that the Packers have two goods QBs but also are more than just a quarterback. Flynn’s game should have effectively bumped Rodgers out of the MVP award in favor of Drew Brees, who led the NFL in completion percentage and broke Dan Marino’s long-standing record for passing yards. But we digress.
Back to Flynn.
The impending free agent earned a lot of money with his performance against the Lions, and the Seahawks should get in on the bidding. He figures to be the next in the line of Matts who went from highly regarded backups to starters — Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel.
Flynn could keep the Green Bay to Seattle pipeline alive by following in the footsteps of Hasselbeck, who also was a late-round draft choice who developed behind a top starter in the West Coast offense. A decade ago, Hasselbeck went from being Brett Favre’s understudy in Green Bay to joining former Packers coach Mike Holmgren in Seattle. Flynn could go from being Rodgers’ backup to joining former Packer personnel man Schneider in Seattle.
Schneider was part of the Packers front office that drafted Flynn out of LSU in the seventh round in 2008, so Schneider knows all about the 26-year-old passer. Schneider first needs to find out whether offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell thinks Flynn will fit Seattle’s offense. (They should watch that game film together this week.)
The Packers run pretty much the same West Coast offense that the Seahawks use, so the adjustment should not take long. It would be more about syncing with the receivers, which Jackson never was able to do all season (his multiple misses with Ben Obomanu on Sunday proved that).
The big question is whether the Hawks think Flynn can be the next Hasselbeck. If they think he could be, they will have to consider whether Flynn is worth the price. The market was set this year when Arizona signed Kevin Kolb – another top backup – for $65 million over six years, with $21.5 million guaranteed.
The Seahawks had shown interest in Kolb, but they were not interested in giving up first- and second-round draft picks for him, on top of the cash. Flynn, however, will require no draft picks – just the money.
But that also could make the price even higher, especially if Landry Jones returns to Oklahoma for his senior season, thus reducing the class of first-round QBs to Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill (Matt Barkley already announced he will return to USC).
Luck is unanimously expected to be the first pick, and the Colts figure to take him unless they get blown out of the water by some offer from another top-10 team. Cleveland, Washington and Miami are the three that really need quarterbacks. The Seahawks will draft 11th or 12th and probably won’t have a shot at Griffin or Tannehill unless they move up.
But, the Hawks might prefer Flynn to either of those guys anyway. A promising young veteran who has been in the league is often preferable to a rookie simply because he will be prepared to win more quickly. Carroll voiced that opinion last year when talking about Kolb.
“Anybody coming through [Eagles coach Andy Reid’s] program has been through a great system, great coaching and leadership,” Carroll told reporters then. “That adds to the value of a player rather than a guy who is coming fresh out of college.”
The same thought process can be applied to Flynn, who learned behind Rodgers on a Super Bowl team coached by Mike McCarthy.
Cleveland would seem to be the team that might go after Flynn hardest, since Holmgren’s Browns also run the West Coast scheme under Pat Shurmur. Like the Seahawks, the Browns figure to have plenty of salary cap room to offer a big contract to Flynn if they want to.
If the bidding gets too rich for the Seahawks or they otherwise lose out on Flynn or simply decide against signing him, their only recourse for a young quarterback will be to try to trade up in the draft.
Otherwise, it will be more of No Action Jackson in 2012.
Two former sports reporters freed from the constraints of traditional print media write about the hot topics on both the Seattle and national sports scene. No deadlines, no word count, no press box decorum — we're Outside The Press Box.