The Oakland Raiders made a lot of moves at the quarterback position this off season. They traded away the 2012 starter in Carson Palmer, traded for the presumptive 2013 starter in Matt Flynn and drafted what looked like a project with potential in Tyler Wilson. But after just one rookie camp, there are already murmurs of Wilson pushing for the starting job.
Poor Matt Flynn must be having nightmares right about now.
Before the 2012 season, Flynn signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was thought to be the presumptive starter as well. Then the Seahawks drafted a project quarterback in the third round by the name of Russell Wilson. As it turns out, Wilson was more ready to play in the NFL than anyone had imagined and eventually led the Seahawks to the playoffs. Meanwhile, Flynn was a true professional and supported his teammates as he saw his chances of starting in Seattle go down the drain.
This off season, Flynn was traded to the Raiders where it was announced that he would enter training camp as the presumptive starter. Then the Raiders drafted a project quarterback in the fourth round by the name of Tyler Wilson. Sound familiar? Hell, they even have the same last name.
The pick led to mentions of the similarities after the draft, and now, after only one rookie camp, it is being brought up again. Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times is already saying that it is not a stretch to think that Wilson will push for the starting job. This story was quickly picked up by Pro Football Talk.
And like sheep to the herd, here I am writing about it as well, but for a slightly different reason. Not to jump to the way too early conclusion that Wilson will challenge and possibly beat out Flynn, but to point out that Flynn needs to deal with the fact that this is going to be talked about, and probably a lot.
Clearly this is a story that the media is going to focus on throughout the off season as the Raiders go through the process of analyzing what they have and seeing how everyone learns the offense. It Matt Flynn wants to succeed, he will need to do so with the mental strength necessary to ignore the inevitable talk of the similarities from 2012.
He cannot escape the comparisons or the media coverage. Wilson appears to have some legitimate talent, and even if he is not ready to be a starter in the NFL, he will likely show enough flashes to keep this story active. Flynn went through a tough year in Seattle and if he is not mentally tough, this type of off season could really screw with him. But that is ok. A QB must be mentally tough, if Flynn cannot handle this pressure he is not a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Not a bad way to test Flynn's mental toughness. I wonder if McKenzie had that in the back of his mind when he decided to draft a third QB rather than signing a veteran backup.