Formerly frustrated Flynn prepares for start

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
8:00
AM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Speaking at length with beat writers for the first time since he went from the Oakland Raiders' presumptive starting quarterback to backup, Matt Flynn on Wednesday acknowledged he was in a funk after losing the job to Terrelle Pryor.

“Obviously, I don’t think it needs to be said, I was disappointed for sure,” Flynn said. “But you know what? I prepared the best I could and things didn’t work out.

“I can promise you it hasn’t shaken my confidence, and I still believe I can be a really good player. It’s just one of those things you learn from and keep preparing, because you never know.”

Indeed, Flynn took every first-team snap Wednesday with Pryor not yet cleared to practice after suffering a “mild” concussion, he said, late in Monday night’s 37-21 loss at Denver.

[+] EnlargeMatt Flynn
Zach Bolinger/Icon SMIQuarterback Matt Flynn is preparing to start Sunday for Oakland with starter Terrelle Pryor's status unclear post-concussion.
And if Pryor cannot go Sunday against the visiting Washington Redskins, Flynn will start for Oakland.

“I thought Flynn had a good practice today,” said coach Dennis Allen. “I would expect nothing less than that. He’s a pro. He’ll be ready to go if his number is called. He’ll be ready to play.”

Pryor has passed Phase 1 of the NFL’s concussion protocol and can participate in team meetings, but had yet to pass Phase 2, which would allow him to practice -- let alone Phase 3, which he needs to be cleared for physical contact and to play.

So there has to be a timetable as to when the Raiders have to make a call if Pryor misses more practice, right? Or could that go under Allen’s description of “competitive reasons” during game week?

“Obviously, there will be a point in time where we have to make that decision,” Allen said. “There probably won’t be any type of announcement one way or the other. We’re obviously on top of it. We’re monitoring the situation.

“We have to be prepared either way. We have to be prepared if Terrelle is ready to go and we have to be prepared if he’s not ready to go.”

Flynn, meanwhile, is preparing as if he’s starting. As a backup, that’s his job, even if general manager Reggie McKenzie said last week that a sore elbow did not do Flynn any favors in camp.

The elbow, Flynn said, flared up on him for the first time in his career last summer in Seattle, when he lost out to then-rookie Russell Wilson after signing a big-money deal with the Seahawks.

Flynn said he rested the elbow this offseason and then might have over-used it in camp. He would not use it as an excuse, though, as to why he lost out to Pryor.

“I don’t know how much that played in any part of what happened,” he said. “I can’t speak to that, but I still felt like I was doing OK out there in practice.”

A particularly bad outing against Chicago in the all-important third exhibition game, in which he threw two interceptions, fumbled once, was sacked another time and was under constant siege all but sealed Flynn’s fate.

And when he received the news, Flynn leaned on family members as well as NFL mentor Aaron Rodgers, his former teammate in Green Bay. And no, having basically the same thing happen to him in consecutive years did not have Flynn and his $6.5 million salary asking, "Why me?"

“It’s probably easier in how to deal with it,” he said. “It’s just as disappointing, or even more so. It’s easier to deal with.

“I know that I still have a job to do; I’m still an Oakland Raider. I’ve got to try to help this team prepare and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’d like to think that I shook it off pretty quick.”

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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