The Oakland Raiders currently stand at a lousy 3-9 on the season and are really struggling to play good football. They’ve been dealing with rough injuries all year long, and there is a lot of uncertainty in the Oakland atmosphere.
But if there is one thing that we all know for certain, it’s that the Raiders are in a rebuilding phase. And when you’re rebuilding, how can you have a 32-year old starting quarterback?
Carson Palmer is old, and he’s barely an above-average quarterback. He is a veteran and knows the game but usually doesn’t make the right plays and it’s hard to have faith in him.
And as the dreadful 2012 season winds down, I believe the Raiders should look down their depth chart and dig up some players and give them a chance. More specifically, I think they should start Terrelle Pryor at quarterback, and I’ll give you three reasons why.
1. Nothing To Lose
The Raiders have only won three games this year, and with their current regime, it doesn’t look like they will win anymore.
Carson Palmer is wildly inconsistent and it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t represent the future of the franchise. But you know who might? Their 23-year old back-up quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.
After drafting Pryor a couple years ago, the Raiders have yet to give him a legitimate shot to take over the reigns of the offense.
Pryor might be raw and undeveloped, but I say give him the first-team snaps at practice and start him for the rest of the season, and only then will the Raiders know if they want to keep him or not. They will never know his value to the team if he’s always on the sidelines, most of the time not even suited up.
If it doesn’t work out, and Pryor screws up and shows no potential, then stash him on the bench or cut him after the season and move on. It isn’t too big of a deal and at this point the Raiders are desperate. Try it out and evaluate the options available.
Worst case scenario, the Raiders lose the next four games and finish 3-13 and probably end up last in the league. But hey, that would land them the #1 pick in the draft, and then they can start to seriously rebuild.
Actually, that sounds like a pretty good scenario. Landing the #1 overall pick? That’s the dream for any team that is looking for a fresh start.
2. He Fits In
If there is one physical characteristic that the Raiders have always admired, it’s speed. And there’s no doubt that Pryor is a very speedy and mobile quarterback.
His 4.36 40-yard dash that he ran on his pro day is blazing fast for a quarterback. Star rookie Robert Griffin III posted a 4.41 during last year’s NFL combine, and Michael Vick ran a 4.33 during his pro day back in 2001. RG3 and Vick are two of the most mobile and elusive quarterbacks that the NFL has ever seen, so Pryor has two guys to look up to and try to replicate. Because if Pryor can get to the same level as either of those guys, then the Raiders would be more than happy to sign him to a long-term deal.
The Raiders adore players who can advance the ball using their legs, and Pryor certainly can do so. His 6-foot-4 frame is also something that isn’t easy to tackle in the open field.
In addition to his speed, Pryor has a cannon for an arm. He has incredible arm strength and with him starting, I think the Raiders should go back to the deep throw that has worked so well for them in the past. The Raiders have some of the speediest players in the NFL, and they are all more than capable of beating their man at the line of scrimmage. Once they blow by, it’s just a matter of getting them the ball, and you know that they can reel in passes and take it the distance.
3. Palmer Isn’t The Answer
Carson Palmer has tried week in and week out to lead this Raiders team to victory, and he just hasn’t been able to get it done.
He plays with talented receivers and a star running back, and yet, finds it very hard to put up points against even the worst defenses in the league. I will admit that he is playing with one of the worst offensive lines that the league has to offer, and it definitely takes a toll on him. He takes a lot of hits and is often forced into bad throws which lead to interceptions and ruin the game.
But to some degree, you have to put it all aside and just play. And Palmer has been unable to do that, and it’s because of that that I think he has no future in Oakland.
Like I said in my first reasoning, Terrelle Pryor actually has some hope. The Raiders know what he brings to the table, they just have to see if he can execute and play up to his potential. But how can you see the potential if you don’t suit him up or give him any chances to play?
This last reason to me is more about believing. The Raiders need to believe in Pryor and believe that he can be the next starting quarterback for the franchise.
Carson Palmer came, and he didn’t get it done. Terrelle Pryor was drafted, and is still waiting for his moment to shine. It’s a process, and Pryor deserves to be next-in-line.