As soon as the deal came down yesterday that sent two future late round picks to Seattle for Matt Flynn, he was pegged as the odds on starter. And though Flynn has not been a full time starter since his senior season of college, he is coming in with the expectation of being the Raiders next starting quarterback.
"I think that should be everybody's expectation," said Flynn. "Whether you're competing for linebacker, DB, snapper, whatever position you're competing for that should be your mentality. You're expected to win that job and that's the mental approach I'm gonna take to it and I'm gonna compete every day."
"I'm a very confident player. I'm very confident about what I bring and we'll just see how that plays out."
He says he was told the same thing by the Raiders this year as the Seahawks told him last off-season - that he would have to compete for the starting job.
Competing for the starting job is nothing new to Flynn. He claims to embrace it.
"I've never been afraid of competition," Flynn says. "I feel like my football career, I've been competing every year of my life, pretty much and it's something that I embrace and I think gets the best out of me.
Unfortunately, he has almost always lost that competition. First it was in college where he had to compete against former Raiders number one overall pick, JaMarcus Russell.
He and Russell were in the same recruiting class at LSU. Russell won the starting job and Flynn had to sit behind him for three seasons. Luckily for Flynn, Russell bypassed his senior season and headed for the NFL. The job was finally handed to Flynn and he took his one season and won a National Championship.
He never had a chance of competing for the job in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers entrenched as the starter. Then after four seasons there, he headed to Seattle where the team would add Russell Wilson in the draft and he had to compete with him. Wilson won the job and yet again, Flynn was left watching from the sideline.
The Raiders are in an ideal position for Flynn to be their next starter. They are rebuilding and bringing Flynn in at a hearty $6.5 million salary this season says the job essentially his to lose.
"I've had brief conversations now with the coach and Reggie (McKenzie) and everybody and what they want to do is breed a competitive environment, and that's what it's all about. Breed competition at every position and guys start learning how to win, how to kick scratch and claw, whatever it takes to win. That's what I've excited about. Talking to them gets me excited for what they believe and what they're trying to get out of it."
Flynn has every reason to expect to start. At present, the team has just Terrelle Pryor at quarterback. The third year QB made his first start in the Raiders season finale last season. He scored three touchdowns (two through the air) but showed he still has much work to do.
Flynn showed in his two NFL starts that he is a much more polished NFL quarterback and it is the reason that since that time, two other NFL teams have invested in his potential as a franchise quarterback.