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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

August 17, 2012 at 7:43 AM

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Matt Flynn: 'You can't force it down the field'

RENTON -- You want to see Matt Flynn throw the ball downfield more than he did in his first exhibition start?

Well, he'll be looking.

Then again, he was looking in the first exhibition start, too, when four of his first six completions were to running backs and he finished 11-of-13 passing for 71 yards. Compare that to rookie Russell Wilson, whose first four completions totaled 71 yards.

"It's not like we didn't have anything down the field called," Flynn said. "You can't force it down the field. Sometimes they call the right defense at the right time. If it's not there, check it down and go to the next play."

It's hard to imagine criticizing an exhibition game in which a quarterback completes his first eight passes, finishes 11-of-13 passing and leaves the game with a double-digit lead.

But the fact that none of those completions gained more than 14 yards was notable, but it's also important to put that in the context of the type of quarterback Flynn is. He's about anticipation and rhythm. He's not a playmaker in the sense that he's going to drive the ball 40 yards downfield, throwing it outside the numbers to a streaking wide receiver. He's a playmaker who's going to keep drives going by making the right read and improvising.

In that respect, his two third-down conversions on his first possession were the most telling. In one, he recognized a defender out of position, threw the ball to Deon Butler, and drew a pass-interference penalty from that out-of-position defender. The other, he got the ball to the running back and kept the sticks moving.

That's advancing the ball downfield, too, and it's important to remember when evaluating Flynn.

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