This is not the way it was supposed to work out for Matt Flynn.
This week was supposed to be the teacher-apprentice game on Monday Night Football, where Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tried to beat his old backup.
But after signing a three-year deal which will pay him $8 million this season, Flynn gets to stand and watch as Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson has stolen what was supposed to be his moment.
“It’s not my decision to make,” Flynn said, via Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times. “I’m proud of the way that I’ve played and I’ve picked everything up and how I’ve handled coming into a new situation. I can’t control anything. I’m just trying to make the team better and make myself better, and stay confident.”
As O’Neil points out, Flynn didn’t lose this job so much as Wilson grabbed it and crammed it in the back pocket of his Levis (whose commercial he’ll star in Monday).
That’s why the Packers are as surprised as anyone they aren’t playing their former backup this week.
“I definitely felt from my experience with Matt that we’d be playing against him come Week 3,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “There’s no question about that.”
“It hasn’t gone the way he would have wanted so far,” Rodgers said. “But he’s a competitor, and hopefully he’s going to get an opportunity at some point, either there or somewhere else.”
The best news for the Seahawks is that if Wilson backslides, they have a proven, competent backup plan in place. But as important, one who isn’t pouting or making an unusual situation difficult.
“Initially, it was a shock to him,” Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “He took it like any quarterback you hope would take it. He wasn’t happy about it. It wasn’t how he had expected it to go or saw it in his mind.
“Once he moved on from that, he has been great for Russ.”
That’s good news for Seahawks, who weren’t afraid to let money keep them from the decision they obviously wanted to make. As cheap as Wilson is on his rookie deal, Flynn’s hit isn’t as bad as it would otherwise be, and the fact he’s handling things like an adult keeps it from undermining a rookie trying to learn.