On the first day of organized team activities (OTAs) for the Raiders on Monday, Matt Flynn got his first chance to perform like the team’s No. 1 quarterback.
In what’s been described as an open competition for the job, the former Packers and Seahawks backup – acquired this offseason from Seattle and anointed No. 1 at his position (for now) – looked good by all accounts.
He moved well in the pocket, threw pretty-looking passes and acted like a veteran.
“It was good,” Flynn told the media afterward. “It was a lot of fun to get out here on the field. We’ve been kind of running plays where it’s offense by themselves, but it was good to get out there and see a defense kind of give you some looks and get a little competition. ... There was definitely some rust out there, I think from everybody, myself included. But it was good to get out there and just compete a little bit and have fun playing football.”
Flynn is competing with fourth-round draft choice Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and holdover Terrelle Pryor, who was No. 3 on the depth chart last season but had a chance to start the Raiders’ final game of 2012 and demonstrated both good and bad in a loss to the Chargers.
What was apparent on Day 1 of OTAs, however, is that this quarterback competition could well be a Flynn vs. Wilson competition, with Pryor the long shot. As Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group noted, Pryor was much more inconsistent with his throws than Flynn or Wilson. “Pryor’s passes are still too wobbly and off the mark to be considered a legitimate contender for the starting job,” wrote Corkran.
Wilson, meanwhile, showed the strongest arm of the trio. Though he has a much steeper learning curve than Flynn, who is familiar with the West Coast offense from his days in Green Bay, Wilson is athletic and a long-shot beat to beat out Flynn.
In recent Raiders rookie minicamp, Wilson was impressive with his arm strength and accuracy.
But after Monday’s OTAs, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was more reserved about Wilson.
“He’s looked pretty good,” Allen said of Wilson. “Obviously this is the first day that we’ve actually been out there and had a chance to go offense vs. defense. We still have a long way to go.” Added Allen: “I know he does good things. Obviously he’s a rookie. He’s got a long way to go. He’s not the finished product at all.”
Which all means, of course, that the quarterback scenario for the Raiders is probably this for the near future: Flynn is No. 1, Wilson is No. 2 and Pryor is No. 3. Flynn will no doubt be given every opportunity to win the job. There will be plenty of opportunity to see what Wilson can do this summer, but there’s no sense rushing him.
Flynn, meanwhile, knows that if he keeps looking like the No. 1 quarterback, he’ll be the No. 1 quarterback.
“There can only be one quarterback on the field,” he told reporters. “My job is to go out there and play the best that I can, compete with myself. Be better tomorrow than I was today.”