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Monday, March 19, 2012
Then and now: Giving Matt Flynn a chance

By Mike Sando

Similarities between Matt Flynn and Matt Hasselbeck border on eery.

Flynn, like Hasselbeck in 2001, came to the Seattle Seahawks from the Green Bay Packers. Both were reunited in Seattle with personnel people they knew in Green Bay (John Schneider for Flynn, Ted Thompson for Hasselbeck).

Matt Flynn
The Seahawks believe they have a strong supporting cast in place for Matt Flynn.
Flynn is 25 years old. Hasselbeck was 26. Both quarterbacks, though unproven, appeared close to joining the Miami Dolphins before landing in Seattle.

Flynn's new coach, Pete Carroll, has a 14-18 record and one playoff appearance with the Seahawks. He has been on the job for 26 months. Hasselbeck's coach in 2001, Mike Holmgren, had a 15-17 record and one playoff appearance with Seattle. He had been on the job for 26 months when the Seahawks landed Hasselbeck.

For all the striking circumstantial parallels, three differences give Flynn an opportunity to enjoy early success, something that eluded Hasselbeck and nearly derailed his career with the team. All three factors are a direct reflection of Carroll and, to an extent, Schneider:
Questions remain regarding the current Seahawks' ability to develop a quarterback for the long term. That was Holmgren's strength, and one reason Hasselbeck eventually developed into a Pro Bowl player.

The NFL has become more of a passing league since then, opening for debate whether Carroll's philosophy is best for the current NFL landscape.

Those are subjects for another day. Improving the short-term chances for Flynn has to be the top priority. The Seahawks have done that. The rest is up to Flynn.