“Next Man Up”
It is a common phrase in football and it is one that Matt Flynn knows well.
The backup to JaMarcus Russell in the 2005 SEC Championship at LSU, Flynn made a relief appearance for the injured Russell in a 34-14 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. In his first major appearance for the Tigers, Flynn threw for one touchdown and an interception before moving on to win a National Championship as a fifth year senior during the 2007/8 season.
Flynn would again face a similar situation in 2010, when he would take on the New England Patriots in his first NFL start. Flynn threw three touchdown passes; one each to John Kuhn, James Jones and Greg Jennings against New England, but would throw a costly interception that was returned for a touchdown. Still, it was an admirable performance from Flynn, one that once coupled with his infamous six TD outburst the following season, made him a multi-million dollar free agent that was destined to be a starter.
We all know it didn’t work out that way. Now Flynn is on his second team in two years and his second lost starting job in the same timeframe. This week the “Best backup in the NFL” is once again in the spotlight as Terrelle Pryor goes through the process of getting medically cleared under the NFL’s concussion protocol. Flynn says that he is ready.
“I’m always going to be ready and I’m always going to prepare,” Flynn told CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “That’s part of the job. You always have to be ready to go in. Obviously the game didn’t go as we wanted (against Denver on Monday Night Football). We just need to play better from start to finish.”
Flynn’s experience as a backup will have him ready for Sunday regardless of the status of Pryor’s condition this week. Whether or not that preparation will be enough to guide the Raiders to a rather “must win” game at home over RGII and the 0-3 Redskins is up for debate, but Raider Nation can take some sort of solace in knowing that Flynn has been in this spot before should Pryor not be able to get medically cleared to play.
Make sure to grab Raiders tickets for this week’s home game as Oakland looks to move to 2-2.