Matt Flynn was brought to Oakland last season to be the starting quarterback, and maybe a franchise savior.
On paper, it made sense. The Raiders showed their commitment, relinquishing a fourth-round draft pick in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. It was Flynn's team. His time to shine.
Which made it awkward when Flynn was beaten out in the preseason by Terrelle Pryor, his expected backup.
The breakup was shocking. Flynn lasted just two games with the Raiders before being cut, making one start. Barely enough time for a cup of coffee.
Flynn found some success with the Green Bay Packers, where he crash landed in November. Back with the team where he began his career, Flynn led the Packers to a 2-2 record in Aaron Rodgers' injury absence. Now, he's embroiled in a competition with Scott Tolzien to be the Packers backup quarterback this season.
When Green Bay plays its third preseason game Friday night at Lambeau Field, it'll be a critical point in the backup quarterback race. Fitting, then, that the game will be played against the Raiders. Against basic instinct, Flynn said he'll put the past aside and playing without a chip on his shoulder.
"I think if you do that, you can put yourself in situations to get in a little bit of trouble," Flynn said. "I've always taken the approach to the game of being level-headed, of being a calming influence. So that's kind of my goal going into this game. I'm not going to try to do anything above and beyond what's necessary.
"So you don't want to put yourself in a situation where you're trying to make plays or trying to throw deep on them every time because you make mistakes. I'm just going to play my game and see what happens."
Reunited so soon, it would be only natural for a player to want to show his old team they made a mistake. In his younger years, Flynn admitted that kind of discipline could be a challenge.
Seven years into his career, the former LSU quarterback said he's matured. He understands the NFL is a business, not personal.
"I think maybe if I was a younger player in the league it would be more difficult, but nothing surprises me in this league anymore," Flynn said. "Nothing surprises me on the field, off the field, business, you know, whatever it is. I'm not surprised by anything. So I think things roll over off my shoulders a little bit faster than they probably used to. I don't think I'll have to worry about me being hotheaded or anything."
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