Let’s ‘get it rolling,’ Flynn says
ERIC D. WILLIAMS
Known for having an innate feel for the game of football, it’s no surprise that Matt Flynn followed his gut in deciding where he would spend the next three years of his NFL career – competing for the starting quarterback job with the Seattle Seahawks.
“I just really enjoyed it up there – really liked the feeling and everything, the coaching staff and the whole organization,” Flynn said during a conference call with Seattle-area reporters on Monday, a day after agreeing to a three-year, $26 million deal with the Seahawks. “I liked everything about it. It felt very comfortable.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he remembered Flynn from his college days leading LSU to a national title in 2008. But during his Seattle visit last Thursday and Friday, Carroll said Flynn opened some eyes with the Seahawks’ brass with his knowledge of the game and his ability to throw the ball during workouts.
“We brought him in here and he lit it up with the staff,” Carroll said. “He was extraordinary on the board and talking football and expressing where he’s coming from. We were very impressed.
“We went into a throwing session with him and asked him to do a variety of things that we had questions about – from throwing the ball in the pocket, to moving around and putting the ball down the field. He was very impressive.”
Flynn said he didn’t expect to throw while in Seattle, but enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere where he could show what he can do. Flynn also hit it off with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, and said Seattle’s version of the West Coast offense is very similar to what he ran with the Packers, although Green Bay places more emphasis on the passing game, throwing the ball 56 percent of the time compared to 51 percent for Seattle in 2011.
Flynn said he had a tough choice to make; he was also considering Miami, where his former Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is now the head coach.
“I am familiar with Coach Philbin and I think a lot of him,” Flynn said. “I think he’s a great person. But when I came up to Seattle I just felt very comfortable with everything. I felt like it was a family environment up there.”
Flynn also confirmed what Carroll said on Sunday – he will compete for the starting quarterback job with Tarvaris Jackson.
“Coach Carroll and I talked about it and he’s big on competition and I’ve always been a firm believer in competition,” Flynn said. “I think it brings the best out of everybody. That’s what I’m looking forward to and it’s something that I can’t wait to get it started and get it rolling.”
Carroll said he’s not ready to name a starter, and will see how things play out during offseason workouts and training camp.
“We now have the opportunity to make it an open competition,” Carroll said. “Tarvaris is well ahead. And he’s the guy that’s here working for us now, and I told Tarvaris when I talked to him yesterday that what we’re doing with Matt is bringing him in here to compete for the job. And he’s going to make everybody better and help our football team.”
One person who had high praise for Flynn was Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, who had a hand in grooming Flynn, along with other successful quarterbacks Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Rich Gannon during his time in the NFL.
“Based on what I see in the everyday classroom, practice field, he’s ready,” McCarthy said, when asked about Flynn at the NFL scouting combine last month in Indianapolis. “It’s his time to play. And you don’t ever know. You don’t ever know if a backup quarterback can take that next step and go out and play 16 games.
“I know mentally he’s ready, emotionally he’s definitely ready, but until you play the position and go play those 1,100, 1,200 snaps, that’s when you really find out. And I think Matt’s ready for that.”
McCarthy pointed to the preparation by Flynn as the thing that stood out at Green Bay.
“He’s very consistent, the same guy every day,” McCarthy said. “I’m talking about emotionally, mentally and physically. He can make all the throws, does a very good job of running the system.
“The same game plan that we had in for Aaron Rodgers, we went with the same one with (Flynn’s) opportunities. He has the ability to play the moving phase and the action phase and also drop back and throw the ball on some deep, out-breaking balls. I think he’s very savvy in the pocket and people underestimate his athletic ability. He’s a very good football player when he leaves the pocket.”
CARROLL CONFIRMS COURTING MANNING
Carroll discussed Seattle’s attempt to woo Peyton Manning to visit Seattle at the beginning of free agency last week, confirming that the Seahawks indeed had a private jet waiting in Denver for Manning to take a visit to the Pacific Northwest if it worked out with his schedule.
“We tried to hook up with him, and we couldn’t make it come together,” Carroll said. “We tried to fit into his schedule that looked like it had some space in it. But it wasn’t enough, so we made an effort. It’s kind of just classic for us, just competing to try and find a way. And we just couldn’t pull it off at that time.”
However, Carroll admitted to feeling good about Manning’s decision to again ply his trade in the AFC, choosing Denver from a final list of teams that included San Francisco and Tennessee.
“I like that,” he said. “He’ll continue to serve the AFC in great fashion. I’m glad he’s over there.”
The Seahawks wasted little time in releasing offensive tackle Jarriel King from the 80-man roster after a South Carolina TV station reported that he was involved in an alleged sexual assault back in his home state of South Carolina. King was arrested last month in North Charleston, S.C., for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman who was intoxicated at the time.
Free agent Visanthe Shiancoe, a former Vikings tight end, visited the team’s facility on Monday. Fellow free agents Jacob Tamme, an ex-Colts tight end, and ex-Raiders running back Mike Bush also are scheduled to visit Seattle this week.
Offensive guard Robert Gallery, released by Seattle last week, signed a one-year deal with New England on Monday.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437