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Matt Flynn: 'I'd be lying' to pretend vindication not a factor

By Tim Graham

Matt Flynn didn't really verbalize it, but his body language spoke loudly when I asked if he's looking forward to proving people wrong.

Flynn expected to be somebody's lead quarterback by now. Opportunities with the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders crashed. Both teams got rid of him.

Now he could be on the verge of starting Sunday for the Buffalo Bills.

Flynn, whose news conference today in One Bills Drive otherwise featured measured responses, laughed when I asked about vindication. His posture changed. He swayed a little behind the lectern.

"Oh, I don't know," Flynn said. "I think that's kind of a slippery slope to get into, trying to go out and prove people wrong.

"People talk about chips on their shoulder and stuff like that. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't anything deep down."

Flynn and undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel shared first-team reps in practice today.

Thad Lewis was sidelined with contused ribs and the flu, and his status for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs is uncertain. EJ Manuel returned to practice but won't be cleared to play this week.

"It's one of those things that you don't go out and try to press too much," Flynn said. "You don't try to do anything that's not there. You don't try to throw 10 deep balls in a game just because you want to prove people wrong. You've got to play the game, play within the system, read the defenses and just do the right things.

"But if that opportunity comes," he added with a grin, "I'm definitely going to be emotionally very ready for it."

Flynn has been deactivated for both games he has been on Buffalo's roster. Tuel has been Lewis' primary backup.

Marrone said he would evaluate the gig "rep by rep" this week in practice.

Flynn will take it. One of last year's hottest free-agent commodities has been on three rosters in 19 months and has only three career NFL starts, two for the Green Bay Packers and one for the Raiders this year.

"My recent past hasn't been the highlight of my career, by any means," Flynn said. "I've always been a confident person. I'm not going to let what happened in my past affect how I go about my business, how I go about playing the game.

"I have a lot of confidence in myself. Call it stubbornness or competitiveness or whatever, but I've always believed in what I can do. If I get an opportunity, however it comes, whatever it is, I'm gong to be ready, and I'm going to be excited."

"Whatever's happened, I'm not going to go out there and play scared. I'm going to play my game and let the 10 guys around me do what I do best."


Doug Marrone | EJ Manuel | Jeff Tuel | Matt Flynn | Thad Lewis
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |