How Matt Flynn Can Become the Long-Term Answer for the Raiders

The Oakland Raiders are creeping toward Week 1 with Matt Flynn as their starting quarterback. Barring a huge surprise from Terrelle Pryor or Tyler Wilson during the preseason, Flynn will get the first crack at securing the job during the regular season.

It’s an audition of sorts for Flynn because he has just two career starts to his name. With Pryor improving this offseason and the rookie Wilson slowly getting up to speed, the team has other options should Flynn falter.

There are at least 15 different possible outcomes, but at least one of them includes Flynn becoming the long-term answer at quarterback for the Raiders. That may not be the best bet depending on your perspective, but it’s also not totally absurd.


Prove Arm Strength is Overrated

Flynn may not have a big arm, but if anybody understands that arm strength isn’t everything, it’s the Raider Nation. NFL fans have been conditioned to think that only first-round draft choices with big arms can be good quarterbacks in the NFL, but that’s not always the case.

Since the Raiders’ last long-term starter Rich Gannon, the team has started a string of strong-armed quarterbacks like Kerry Collins, JaMarcus Russell, Andrew Walter, Daunte Culpepper, Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer without so much as one winning season.

Gannon didn’t have a strong arm and neither do NFL starters like Alex Smith, Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder. Flynn will have to prove, like many have before him, that arm strength is overrated.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the majority of quarterbacks in the league attempted deep passes between 11 and 13 percent of the time, including players like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

The difference between Manning and Dalton on deep passes is their ability to compl...

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