The key to being a successful passing quarterback in the NFL is accuracy. Obviously, there are other factors that come into play: the offensive line doing their duty to protect and the wide receivers finding ways to get open and receive the ball. Arm strength is also great to have, as it could potentially make someone a much better quarterback with the deep ball as a weapon.
Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Matt Flynn does not have a big arm whatsoever, but he has the ability to throw accurate passes in the short/medium pass game. Could he surprise you with the relatively deep ball from time to time? I’m sure he will, but that’s not quite in his arsenal.
I’m a guy who loves and appreciates quarterbacks who can chug the ball down the field 60-70 yards for a deep touchdown. It is extraordinarily fun to watch, and that is one of the reasons why football is so exciting. Nevertheless, I do have the understanding that arm strength is certainly overrated.
Lets take a look at Oakland’s recent quarterback history. Since the Raiders’ last long-term starter Rich Gannon, the team has started an abundance of strong-armed quarterbacks like Kerry Collins, JaMarcus Russell, Andrew Walter, Daunte Culpepper, Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer. They have not put together a winning season within that span. I do take in consideration that the team as a whole was not playing well enough to come on top of football games; it’s not just the quarterback. However, these were quarterbacks with big time arms who did not look particularly sharp come game time.
Last time the Raiders put together a winning season was with Gannon. Gannon did not have a strong arm and neither do NFL starters like Alex Smith, Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton, and Christian Ponder. Flynn will have to prove, like many others have before him and are currently proving, that arm strength is overrated.
The quarterbacks who have the ability to make accurate passes along with the arm strength to throw one deep are the greats, and there’s no debating that. On the other hand, in a desperate situation to win games, Oakland simply needs Flynn to step in and complete passes; he does not need to be flashy. I believe Flynn is the guy who can be effective for Oakland.