The Seattle Seahawks were the winners of the Matt Flynn sweepstakes this off-season. This highly coveted free agent was sought after by many quarterback needy teams. The only catch to this prize is the fact that Flynn has only started in two NFL games while being Aaron Rodgers backup throughout his time in Green Bay.
The former seventh round pick out of LSU in the 2008 NFL draft was rumored to be going to the Miami Dolphins. Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll, gives the inside story on how Seattle easily landed the free agent they were after from the start.
Pete Carroll joined WQAM in Miami with Joe Rose to discuss the recruitment of Matt Flynn, Matt Flynn lacking experience as a starting quarterback, and missing some of the college football atmosphere now that he is an NFL head coach.
What did you see to make you sign Matt Flynn? How are you looking at him at this point? Is he a starter?
“First of all we are always looking to make the quarterback position as competitive as possible, so going into free agency we thought Matt was really a guy that could fit us. John Schneider, our general manager, had been at the Packers when they took Matt and they watched him grow up there. We had some good background information on him. We brought him out for a visit and all the coaches really liked him and he seemed very comfortable. We worked him out as well. He had a great workout and everything looked great, but then we had to turn him loose like a recruiting weekend and he had one more visit left. He went to see the Dolphins and after visiting them he called me the next morning early and said ‘Hey Coach I want to come to Seattle.’ It was kind of like a recruit calling me. He wanted to come. We hadn’t even done a contract yet. We were thrilled about that and for whatever reason he thought this was the best fit for him and we were happy to get him. What we are looking for is to make this position very competitive. Tarvaris Jackson was our starter last year and he’s coming in to compete head-to-head for the starting job. It’s my job now to make sure I create a competitive opportunity for both kids to show they can fit in and we’ll go with the best guy and it’s going to make our quarterback position better certainly. We are happy about that.”
Was there ever a worry to dish out all this money for Matt Flynn when he only has two NFL starts under his belt?
“Yeah that was of course because he hasn’t been a full-time starter. He’s only got two games behind him. That’s something you gotta be concerned about. However we really regard the job that Mike McCarthy does with his quarterbacks and how they prepare them. He’s gone through the same process that Aaron Rodgers went through and we are thinking he is ready to hit the same here. He has done very well with the opportunities that he had. He won the National Championship at LSU when given that shot there. We know he is a really first class kid that can compete, but he does not have all that time logged. He’s got a lot of preseason games and of course we looked at all of that too and put it together, but he’s going to have come in here and prove himself. He’s got the background with that kind of experience and battle with a guy that has started 30-something games in the NFL in Tarvaris Jackson.”
Do you miss any part of the college football atmosphere?
“I do. I do miss the connection you make with the kids and the families and stuff. You watch the kids grow up right in front of your eyes and that’s something very special. I was talking to a parent just yesterday of one of our kids and that always comes back. It was fun watching those kids come in and see me with their eyes wide open and then they get the great experience and it was so much fun at USC. It was really, really a fun time, so I miss that stuff, but I do love the challenge that we are up against now. I do like the formula in the NFL, more so than the formula that is in college football. The way you get to look at the players and evaluate them and bring them in and really dig into all of that process, but recruiting is a little bit different in that regard. I loved the recruiting with wooing the kids, but the evaluation process is so much more accurate now. You get to work so much more diligently with the kids. I like that part a lot more now and it’s as competitive as it could get.”