I love the fact that media folks are jumping all over the Oakland Raiders Quarterback Matt Flynn. Today Vic Tafur stated that he thinks the Raiders coaches have accepted Flynn’s inability to make accurate throws over 25 yards. He said this is apparent in the fact that they mostly have Flynn throwing dump off passes, slants, outs, and curl routes. So, if this is true, is it a bad thing?
This is a quarterback who is playing in the NFL. He has had to make throws of more than 25 yards throughout his life. He may not be the most accurate passer of throws over 25 yards, but how much will that matter if he is making first downs and moving the team down the field? Another reporter who is at training camp in Napa, CA, Jerry McDonald, also reported that Matt Flynn threw a beautiful touch pass, over 25 yards, to Rod Streater. His passes may be occasional, but how many deep passes does a quarterback actually get to throw during game-time situations.
Most of the time a quarterback’s job is to take what the defense gives him. If he throws 40 passes in a game and 31 hit their mark for 250 plus yards and a couple of touchdowns, do you really think he’ll be evaluated on how deep the passes were thrown. In contrast, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady make a living throwing passes under 25 yards to receivers who then get yards after the catch (YAC yards). The deep bomb offenses are a thing of the past. Defensive backs and safeties are as fast or sometimes faster than many of the wide receivers out there today.
Having a receiver like Willie Gault or Tim Brown or Cliff Branch blow by opposing defensive backs for a deep bomb touchdown is not something we will likely see in the current offense. Who cares! If a receiver runs a slant route and catches a pass thrown for 10 yards and turns it into 50 yards, then Flynn will look like a hero. I believe that Flynn will be able to make the deep throw when it is available to him. He’s smart and isn’t going to take too many chances with the football, but he has a quick release and will get the ball out fast. I want to see quick decision-making, and I believe that Flynn is the one with the ability to give the Raiders this element. Hate on him if you want, but the coaches are going to give this team the best opportunity to win this season. If this means short accurate passes, so be it.