The Oakland Raiders have remained a struggling franchise for quite some time now. Throughout the past decade or so the organization has yet to find an answer to win football games – whether it’s a quarterback problem, defensive issues, injuries, ect.
If you take time to look at Oakland’s current roster, you’ll see that new general manager Reggie McKenzie added some solid talent defensively, where Oakland has recently struggled most. He also decided to sign quarterback Matt Flynn after the departure of former starter Carson Palmer, which led to a QB controversy.
Well, here we go again. Always something in Oakland, as they have not been a stable franchise since God knows when. There are currently four quarterbacks on their depth chart – Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin, and Tyler Wilson. I named them out in that particular order because that is the order in terms of their string. Flynn leads the way as the front runner for the position, seconded by Pryor who some say should be the leader of this football team.
The rookie Wilson and McGloin are certainly not in the race for the starting role, it’s a controversy between Flynn and Pryor.
I look at this situation as one extremely similar to the controversy in San Francisco last year with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. You have two different talents in Oakland, one guy in Flynn who is going to be a game manager type QB in a west coast offense, then there’s the explosive Pryor with extraordinary upside who can eventually take this team to the next level. The game manager is relating to Smith, and the explosiveness with great upside is relating to 49ers current starter Kaepernick.
Now, the 49ers initially decided to go with a game manager type quarterback in Smith, and they benefited tremendously from it. San Francisco’s head coach Jim Harbaugh put Smith in a position where he was most successful at, and they quickly became one of the better teams in the league with an outstanding defensive core behind him. The 49ers had been a struggling franchise for several years until Harbaugh stepped in as head coach a couple years back.
About midway through last year Smith suffered a concussion that brought in backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a special physical talent with tremendous abilities, and he took advantage of his opportunity to say the least. He played incredibly well in replace of the injured Smith and eventually was named the new starter in SF. In his first time being named a NFL starter, the young talent took the Niners to a super bowl and lost a heart breaker to the Baltimore Ravens.
Anyways, back to Oakland.
I want to see a mirror of what happened in San Francisco in Oakland, and I believe it’s going to happen. The Raiders need to start winning football games, and the safest way to go about it is to begin with Matt Flynn under center. I understand Pryor’s upside, although Flynn should start under a system very similar to Smith’s when he was in San Francisco. Oakland needs to play it smart and utilize Flynn as a game manager. In a desperate scenario to win games which the Raiders are in, there’s no need to take a gamble with Pryor. Besides, the youngster needs to develop more in the pass game before he becomes a legitimate starter.
Bottom line is – start Flynn for now, win some games, and bring in Pryor later down the road. Whether that road begins midway through this coming season or the start of next year, it’s time to play it smart, Oakland.