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Rich Gannon Defends Matt Flynn in Light of Ron Jaworski Rating Him Worst NFL Starter

Ron Jaworski threw flames to the fire on Tuesday when he ranked Matt Flynn as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. Jaws’ ripped the NFL’s “Most Valuable Backup” with the Green Bay Packers for his lack of arm strength, rating him behind terrible quarterbacks such as Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert.

Well the Raiders most famous noodle armed quarterback is quick to defend his former team’s newest member of the Raiders quarterback fraternity, citing that arm strength is overrated (Right JaMarcus Russell?).

Gannon fumbled around the league for over a decade before he got his first real shot at being an NFL quarterback by Jon Gruden in Oakland and the rest was history. So Gannon was quick to call out Jaws.

“The thing that’s tough about Matt Flynn’s situation is that he hasn’t played a lot of football,” said Gannon. “It’s tough to evaluate a guy you’ve not seen play. I’ve seen more of Matt Flynn probably than anybody. I did Packers preseason games Matt’s first four years, I obviously watched the Patriots game where he started, I watched the Detroit Lions game he started a couple years ago and played really well, threw six touchdowns. I’ve got a good sense of who this guy is. I think from Jaws’ perspective… first of all, the fact that he has Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker rated ahead of Matt Flynn I think is ridiculous.”

“(There’s) a lot to like about Matt Flynn. Now, that being said, I don’t think he’s ever gonna be an Aaron Rodgers or a Tom Brady in terms of his arm strength or his ability to make those type of throws, but I wasn’t either. I was able to get by and participate and do the little things well.

Gannon, who is the best quarterback of the Raiders Oakland 2.0 era, is quick to remind people that there is more to being a quarterback than throwing deep go routes.

“I wasn’t known for having a cannon for an arm, but if you have great anticipation, the ball comes out quick, you understand the system… that’s one of the things that helps Matt is he’s been in the system, he’s got some background here. He ran a very similar system in Green Bay and in Seattle.”

Flynn doesn’t just remind Gannon of himself, Chad Pennington’s name was also brought to mind by the gunslinger.

“It’s about anticipation,” Gannon continued. “I’ll give you a great example; Chad Pennington, who had some really great years in New York with the Jets and just good years in Miami. In terms of quarterbacks throwing the football, he had probably the worst arm I’ve ever seen and he had some real limitations and yet he had one of the highest completion percentages in the history of football. Very accurate, could anticipate, very smart, heady guy, he’d get the ball out on time, those types of things. That’s who Matt has to be.”

Despite being a band aid, Pennington alongside Gannon might be one of the most underrated pocket passers of the 00′s. He completed 66% of his passes over 11 seasons in the NFL, pretty much every season he was healthy Pennington led offenses that were playoff teams. Gannon sees Flynn having the ability that he and Pennington had to win games by being field generals and picking apart the offense piece by piece by being the leader of a cohesive offensive unit. Flynn won games at LSU this way, but that was on a team that was better than most teams on the field ever week. In Oakland, Flynn is going to have to get the most out of the players around him for the Raiders to even have a chance at winning every week.

First things first, Flynn needs to get confidence himself, as well as confidence from his receivers and teammates.

“I just think establishing himself as the guy, as the starter. He’s gotta come in and earn the team’s respect.” Said Gannon. “It’s all about what you do on the football field and what type of impact you can make. They wanna see your work ethic. Ultimately what it boils down to is your ability to win football games, your ability to put the team in the position late in games with a chance to win. That’s gonna be critical for Matt.”

With Flynn’s obvious limitations, Gannon notes that he is going to have to have help from those around him to be able to lead the Raiders to wins in 2013 if he is the starter.

“The key for Matt is gonna be how well the team plays around him. Are they gonna get better between now and the season at tight end and wide receiver? Is Darren McFadden gonna be able to play all 16 games and have a really productive season? How’s the offensive line gonna gel? What about the new offensive coordinator and how is that all gonna work out? So, all these things are gonna factor into how well Matt plays in his first year in Oakland.”

Gannon also made sure to tell everyone to take a chill pill because Flynn has only played two games in the NFL making it very difficult to evaluate him on an extremely small body of work.

“Ron Jaworski’s one guy. He’s evaluating his position. I think it’s very difficult to evaluate Matt only from the standpoint that we don’t have a ton of film on him. But to say he’s the 32nd ranked quarterback in the NFL I think is a little ridiculous.”

Rich Gannon is one of the most successful modern Raiders and is arguably the last elite NFL quarterback the Silver and Black have had. It is promising to hear that the former Raider fan favorite is telling everyone to relax and has faith in Flynn.

Topics: Matt Flynn, Oakland Raiders, Rich Gannon, Ron Jaworski

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  • TribalX

    Jaws sucked his first 3 years in the NFL. 43.4 completion average, 1 TD and 8 picks. I guess he forgot how bad it was for himself.

  • Chris Schroeder

    Hell yeah Gannon. That clown is just some poor loser who got made look like a fool by the Raiders and planted himself on “raider hater Island”. Show up or grow up Jaworski. The dude through for nine touchdowns and almost 1000 yards in his only two starts. You must be freaking retarded Jaworski.

  • Angel

    Flynn is gettin hated on jus cause he’s with the Raiders. Thanks Gannon, I still wear your jersey proudly on some game days. And at Raider Games…. I still see a lot of people sportin Gannon Jerseys.

  • Gregg Brennan

    “Rich Gannon is one of the most successful modern Raiders and is arguably the last elite NFL quarterback the Silver and Black have had.” Arguably? There’s no argument about it unless you want to try and claim that JaWalrus, Kerry Collins, Luke McCown (or was it the other McCown we had?), or a worn-out Daunte Culpepper was elite.

  • chase ruttig

    Hahaha just left arguably in there in case somone REALLY loved any of our sad sack quarterbacks since Gannon

  • Luis Hernandez

    I just check out some videos on YouTube of Flynn, and from what I saw he obviously knows what he is doing. He may have been making short and intermediate throws, but he also threw some deep balls that seemed to be accurate to me. It also looked like he was very conservative with his decisions of where and how to throw the ball, and always threw around the first down markers. Not every down needs to be a bomb for a TD, but moving the ball is crucial in winning a game. I saw him make some plays with his legs too, so its not like he’s not capable of doing so. He might have lost the starting job in Seattle, but he lost it to the bandwagon that is a mobile quarterback and the read option play calling. If I’m not mistaken, Rich Gannon was a pocket passer and got us to the Super Bowl with how he played the game. Like it says in this article, Gannon wasn’t known for his big arm, but with the right coaching and system, he was able to flourish and become “the guy” for the Raiders. Flynn had the opportunity to learn under Aaron Rogers for a few seasons, and it showed in his debut. 6 touchdowns?! When did Locker or Gabbert do that, ever? How many QBs have done that? That’s pretty impressive if you ask anyone. Oakland may not have the same line up as Green Bay, but we have weapons. Moore, Streater, Reece, McFadden, Criner and all our offensive draft picks seems to have very good potential. I think Flynn will flourish once he gets his confidence under center and will become the guy for us. If not, we already have our mobile quarterback on the roster in Pryor, so I wouldn’t worry about our QB situation all too much. Someone will step up and take it, and it is definitely Flynn’s job to lose.

  • DondiRaider

    and he was on a Rams teamthat was pretty good at running he ball..Ground Chuck!

  • DondiRaider

    what about marc wilson?…..KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DondiRaider

    AGREED!!!!!