When the Saints and Raiders meet in the second preseason game of 2013 this Friday night, there will be a microscale role reversal of sorts.
Leading the Silver & Black will be former LSU quarterback Matt Flynn. While it's just a preseason game, it will be Flynn's first appearance in the Superdome as a starter since throwing four touchdowns to lead LSU to a 38-24 victory over Ohio State in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game.
One of Flynn's few flaws in that game was an interception thrown to future first round Saints draft pick Malcolm Jenkins that set up a late Buckeyes touchdown. After the Saints selected Jenkins, I was hoping that interception would be a foreshadowing of more Superdome interceptions by the cornerback-turned-safety and I am still hopeful that will prove to be true.
Since entering the NFL Flynn has established himself as one of the league's finest backup quarterbacks and has even demonstrated flashes of brilliance. As a member of the Green Bay Packers in 2010, he set the franchise's single game passing record throwing for 486 yards and 6 touchdowns in a 45-41 victory over the Detroit Lions while subbing as the starter for Aaron Rodgers. Pretty impressive feat to surpass all the single game high passing marks.
Barring a takeover by Terrelle Pryor, Flynn finally gets his turn to step in as the full time starter with the Raiders, who have experienced a quarterback deprivation since Rich Gannon left. While he may only be in for a few series', what kind of reaction should Flynn expect to receive from Saints fans, many of whom double as Purple & Gold fans on Saturdays?
Will Flynn's leading LSU to it's last National Championship six years ago earn him a special level of appreciation from Saints fans Friday night when he enters not as a home team favorite, but as the visiting quarterback? Would LSU fans in attendance clap for Flynn should he throw for one more touchdown pass in the Superdome considering it is just preseason? Or should Flynn be treated the same as any other opposing visiting quarterback and be subjected to a no-mercy policy as well?