As we count down the days to training camp, Around the League will examine one player from every team set for a breakout campaign in 2012. Next up: the Seattle Seahawks.
There is no bigger jump at the pro level than from trendy, promising backup to franchise quarterback. Matt Flynn will try and follow in the footsteps of Matt Schaub rather than Kevin Kolb. We think he can pull it off.
Making the Leap: Matt Flynn
It doesn't make a big difference whether Tarvaris Jackson takes the first snap of training camp. It doesn't make a difference that rookie Russell Wilson will compete for the starting spot. (Although Wilson will be a factor in the future.) The Seahawks gave Flynn a healthy amount of guaranteed money because they want to see what he can do. The money matters, no matter what Pete Carroll says.
Flynn will get a chance to start this year, and we'll be stunned if its not in Week 1. He has the game to take advantage of the opportunity when he gets his shot.
In one of the final days of my former professional life, I watched every Matt Flynn snap possible. I won't repeat myself here, but Flynn was accurate, composed and threw the ball well under pressure. That pocket presence gives him an edge over guys like Kolb, Matt Cassel and Jackson.
In many ways, Flynn didn't look like a young quarterback. He was very good before the snap. He moved safeties with his eyes. He responded to his bad plays.
Flynn doesn't have to carry the Seahawks. They have a solid running game and a stronger defense. He has a chance to be an average starter sooner than later. That's a big upgrade for the Seahawks and that may be all they need to make the playoffs in 2012.