Terrelle Pryor Is The Only Man Who Can Answer The Oakland Raiders Most Important Question


One question looms larger than any other for NFL franchises, and even though Terrelle Pryor is the only Oakland Raider who can provide the organization a clear answer, there’s very little chance the 24-year-old quarterback will be able to do so this season if Matt Flynn is under center on opening day at Indianapolis.

Should acquiring a franchise quarterback be the top priority this offseason?

Matt Flynn can’t answer that question, because he’s simply not a long-term solution, and Pryor won’t have enough time to offer a concrete answer either way if he isn’t given double digit starting opportunities in 2013.

It’s been said, “If you got two quarterbacks, then you ain’t got none”, and this QB duo has done nothing to dispell that eloquent logic.

After the first preseason game I felt Pryor had inserted himself in the QB competition, as Flynn’s defenders fawned over his awful performance in New Orleans I explained “How Terrelle Pryor Outplayed Matt Flynn While Throwing For Nine Yards”, because he did, but I still have no idea if Pryor will become a quality NFL starter, and more importantly, neither does the Raider coaching staff.

Perhaps it says more about the current roster than these QB’s that the most contentious subject among the NFL’s most vocal fan base revolves around overstating the abilities of two flawed QB’s with three NFL starts between them?

I think Pryor’s the better option right now, especially with shaky protection. He clearly has more upside, and whatever his limitations, opposing defenses must scheme for him, and spend time game planning for his rare athletic gifts.

I don’t think the Raiders’ record will be much different, no matter who’s under center. So why is it so critical for Terrelle Pryor to be starting on opening day?

Because that’s the only way to get the most complete answer on the key question: Should acquiring a franchise QB be the Raiders’ top priority this offseason?

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor heads to practice as the Buckeyes prepare to take on texas in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 5 in Tempe, AZ. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Having a franchise quarterback is a binary condition, similar to being pregnant, you either have a QB or you don’t. But it takes a lot more than 10 minutes in the bathroom to find out if you have a quarterback, and watching a career backup who’ll be 29 in 2014 throwing check-down passes on 3rd and long won’t help the Raiders know if they have a starter on the roster.

And Pryor won’t prove anything in the 4-8 starts people are suggesting he’ll get in 2013. He’ll show some promise, some very rough edges, and the Raiders won’t know what they have at year’s end. It’s barely enough time to notice Pryor was brazen enough to claim his college number just as soon as the Raiders let him, symbolic of the fact Pryor exudes confidence found only in athletes that have been special their whole lives — he could care less about what or who JaMarcus Russell ate while keeping his No. 2 warm for him, he’s Terrelle Pryor, who the hell is J-Rock?

Starting from day one would allow Pryor to play through mistakes, exhibit leadership or intangibles, and face game situations that can’t be replicated. And he’ll either :  A) Prove he’s definitely not an NFL QB.  B) Demonstrate potential as a No. 2 QB who should be groomed further. or, C) Make it clear he’s a viable option to start in 2014.

But what if the coaching staff ends the season wishing they had a few more games to evaluate him, or Pryor is an NFL starter but wasn’t given time to prove it? Forcing the Raiders to spend a high draft pick or big money in free agency on a position they didn’t need to. (While Pryor’s chance happens elsewhere).

Or, what if the Raiders are near the top of the draft and the QB position is muddled? The Raiders could be forced to pass on someone like Jadeveon Clowney, and draft a QB they don’t consider the best player on their board (and we’re back to JaMarcus). There are very few difference makers on this roster, this offseason will be an opportunity to add as many as three or four.

If its clear Pryor isn’t a starter, the Raiders can draft a franchise QB, or pursue someone like 2014 free agent Jay Cutler. If Pryor proves he should be given a shot in 2014 the Raiders are then in the best position possible, an option wholly unavailable if Pryor doesn’t get sufficient starts. They could draft whomever they want, or even upgrade at QB (and this scenario means Pryor has trade value). And the beautiful thing about having a thin roster is that you can make decisions without being a slave to need – if you’ve addressed the QB position.

Aug 9, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie looks on before the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at O.Co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

I understand talking about next offseason before this season has even begun frustrates fans, but the 2014 offseason will prove far more important to the Raider franchise than the 2013 regular season, and ignoring that fact won’t make it any less true.

GM Reggie McKenzie sacrificed any chance of competing this year so the Raiders could fix their salary cap while holding onto draft picks. Shrewd moves that should allow the Raiders to be proactive this offseason, aggressive in free agency if need be, and make decisions from a position of strength for the first time in what seems like forever.

Raider fans are pressed against the glass, drooling over a tantalizing smorgasbord featuring $70 million of cap room and a talent-rich 2014 NFL Draft, which should lead to gorging on the fruits of their freckled GM’s patience, and watching a significantly better football team next year. And now you want to relinquish the opportunity to realize every advantage of all these painfully long and boring roster revisions — just so Matt frickin’ Flynn can start in 2013?

I don’t frickin’ think so.

 

 

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Featured Popular Matt Flynn Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie Terrelle Pryor

  • James Holtslander

    We should have seen a lot more of Pryor last year. That hinders this years descision. I still think he should have a chance to start. Like you said, “if the protection is bad this year”

    Just hope our defense can keep us in games

    • Ricky Bobby

      DA deliberately stunted TP’s growth by giving the backup QB job to future beach bum Matt Leinart.
      He is doing the same with Pop Warner armed Matt Flynn. #BIAS

      • holy roller

        It’s the “anti Al bias”……..pure and simple. U hit the nail on the head with that one!

  • Ricky Bobby

    Amen playa, DA will have to be fired for he sooner take an anal probe to his right eyeball before TP steps on in as the starter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.schroeder.161 Chris Schroeder

    As a QB, if you don’t prove yourself in the off season… Training camp and preseason, to be the best QB on the roster then you don’t start. It’s as simpleas that. Pryor has progressed but he still makes bad decisions I.e. interception in the end zone week 1.

    Last week Flynn threw a touch down to denarius Moore in the 2 minute drill under extreme pressure because his blind side was exposed all night. The way he made those adjustment with an underperforming O-line speaks volumes of the type of QB he will be or us. Now I see how he mustered up 6 TD’s against the lions in 2011.

    I like Pryor, and he is more athletic and has a bigger arm than Flynn, but if he’s throwing interceptions every couple of plays what good will that do us. We need a leader. People need to start thinking about that. He needs to mature more as a player before he is a starter in this league. I agree 100% with Dennis Allens thinking on this. Pryor will come in for special packages and have the opportunity early in the season to prove he can compete at this level but for now he is nowhere near ready to be deemed a starter.

    • AF AF AF

      But before that 2 min drill where was Flynn? He could do anything right. Pryor has not been a fair shot. We have seen what Flynn can do under Centre with the starters why not give Pryor a fair shot. I say start Pryor in game 3 of preseason with the starters and keep him till there till the 3Rd quarter. If he does well then we give him a fair shot at starting and if not we start Flynn. Im not saying we switch starting QB for one game but for comp. i just want to see what he can do with the starters in and not the back ups.

      • Samuel Charles

        I agree with this AF, but I didn’t even bring up preseason Game 3 because Flynn is locked in as the starter. And there’s nothing Terelle can really do in what will be limited action.

        The only chance Pryor may have is if Flynn throws multiple interceptions, which won’t happen when he’s so eager to take the sack and dump the ball off on 3rd and long.

        (Simultaneously demonstrating why the coaches trust him, and why that type of QB has no chance of winning football games on a team with nine new defensive starters).

        We can only hope.

        Thanks for reading,

        Sam

    • Samuel Charles

      Hi Chris,

      As an organization you make decisions based on what’s best for the future of you franchise, not some career backup QB, period.

      I do think that ideas like “the merit system” have value in sports, and I don’t think either of these quarterbacks has proven beyond any doubt he has “earned the right to start” — but this decision must be based on what’s best for the Raider franchise, not what’s best for some backup QB in 2013, and with the understanding these key offseason moves that will impact this franchise for years to come.

      (And I’ve seen Flynn make far more bad decisions this preseason than Pryor).

      It’s pretty clear you didn’t read my article about the second preseason game in New Orleans, or the comments. Which wonder — as AF is now asking you —why Flynn waited until the game was totally out of hand to make those adjustments that “speak volumes about the kind of quarterback he’ll be for us”?

      http://goldengatesports.com/2013/08/17/oakland-raiders-how-terrelle-pryor-outplayed-matt-flynn-while-throwing-for-nine-yards/

      Aren’t all those sacks Flynn took more representative of “the kind of QB he’ll be” behind this O-line? Aren’t his lack of complete and total lack of adjustment, and his failure to demonstrate toughness, throw incompletions, or recognize blitzes that could’ve helped avoid needless sacks — and his terrible body language — far better indicators of Flynn’s lack of leadership?

      Yes, Flynn “mustered up 6 TD’s against the Lions in 2011″, but it was also a meaningless final game of the season. Aaron Rodgers didn’t start because the Packers finished with the best record in franchise history (15-1). Onee of the best team in NFL history that almost went undefeated while leading the NFL in scoring (35 ppg), with the best offense in the league and one the best O-line’s in the NFL.

      Does that sound anything like the 2013 Oakland Raiders? (Which will find Flynn, who ran a 4.79 40-time, running for his life).

      Pryor hasn’t thrown INT’s every couple of plays. Flynn turned the ball over on his very first snap this preseason, Flynn has zero awareness of the pass rush and has already made it quite clear he’s not an NFL starter, but the jury’s still out on Pryor.

      Do you really think “special packages” will tell you if a player can be your franchise QB, limited playbook with a couple snaps at a time?

      And after writing your whole comment, you still devised a strategy that addresses the only relevant question, one Matt Flynn can’t answer while game-managing the Raiders into oblivion behind a porous offensive line.

      Should acquiring a franchise quarterback be the top priority this offseason?

      Thanks for reading,

      Samuel Charles

      • Samuel Charles

        And my article after the Cowboy game made reference to how Pryor “proved himself during the offseason”

        Pryor worked extensively this offseason with QB guru Tom House, who tutors Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Pryor’s throwing motion and accuracy have improved, and this summer represents just his second NFL training camp with significant reps. He also seems to be demonstrating the type of commitment, and perspective, required of an NFL quarterback.

    • Samuel Charles

      Hi Chris,

      As an organization, especially one not capable winning a SB this year, decisions should be based on what’s best for the future of the franchise, period.

      I do think “the merit system” has value in sports. Although I don’t think either of these quarterbacks has proven beyond any doubt he has “earned the right to start” — and this decision must be based on what’s best for the Raider franchise, not what’s best for some backup QB in 2013. And with the understanding this offseason will impact this franchise for years to come.

      (And I’ve seen Flynn make far more bad decisions this preseason than Pryor).

      It’s pretty clear you didn’t read my article after the game in New Orleans, or the comments. Which wonder — as AF is now asking you —why Flynn waited until the game was out of hand to make adjustments that “speak volumes about the kind of quarterback he’ll be for us”?

      Aren’t all those sacks Flynn took more representative of “the kind of QB he’ll be” behind a shaky O-line? Aren’t his total lack of adjustments, his failure to demonstrate toughness, throw incompletions, or recognize blitzes that could’ve helped avoid needless sacks — and his less than inspiring body language — better indicators of Flynn’s (lack of) leadership?

      Flynn once “mustered up 6 TD’s against the Lions in 2011″. A totally meaningless final game of the season. A. Rodgers didn’t start because the Packers locked up the top seed with one of the best teams in NFL history, finishing with the best record in franchise history (15-1), and nearly going undefeated. That Packer team led the NFL in scoring (35 ppg) with the best offense in the league — behind one the best O-line’s in the NFL.

      Does that sound anything like the 2013 Oakland Raiders? Who will have Flynn, who ran a 4.8 40-yard-dash years ago, running (in quicksand) for his life.

      Pryor hasn’t thrown INT’s every couple of plays and Flynn turned the ball over on his very first snap this preseason, Flynn is totally unaware of the pass rush and has already made it quite clear he’s not an NFL starter, but the jury is still out on Pryor.

      Do you really think “special packages” will tell you if a player can be your franchise QB, in limited playbook playing to his strengths a couple snaps at a time?

      You bring up important issues, but you’ve still ignored the ONLY relevant question, one Matt Flynn can’t answer while game-managing the Raiders into oblivion behind a porous offensive line.

      Should acquiring a franchise quarterback be the top priority this offseason?

      Thanks for reading,

      Sam

    • CITIZEN9478

      “Last week Flynn threw a touch down to denarius Moore in the 2 minute drill under extreme pressure because his blind side was exposed all night.”

      Except that drive, where he faced a 3 man rush on 10 of 11 plays and STILL took a sack. Nothing impressive about that drive except that final pass(which WAS a sweet pass). Saints played deep with a 3 man rush and Flynn threw underneath coverage the entire drive. 350lb jawalrus could have posted Flynns numbers there.

  • Wm Bill L Rhoades

    Samuel Charles…BS = Samuel Charles which means you are a ‘frickin dipwad’. If you had ‘half a whit’, you’d at least go onto a ‘team site’, and listen to the staff — GM and Coaches — and then when you open your ‘PIE HOLE’, you wouldn’t sound like a ‘dork’, or a ‘blithering idiot’, or dip wad’….or any number of other appropriate and applicable adjectives that best describe you. We’ll just ‘let the chips fall’ where they will, and the watch how people ‘start’ denying what they have said, claiming the reverse of what they said.
    Maybe you outta start a HATERs’ Site for anyone that ‘hates a specific team’, and sell perscriptions to each teams ‘hate magazine’.

  • DF Rellom

    Its not like the 9ers where all about kaepernick from the get go. So happens that smith got injured and they let kaepernick do his thing coming in to fill his spot. as the season went he got more confortable and got better. Though the 9′ers circumstances were different, they already had a well built team. Raiders should let Pryor do his thing. Dennis Allen, in my opinion, seems to be the one guy who just seems not to give Pryor that chance. Always stating that he is not there yet. Just let him play a whole half with the first team

  • holy roller

    well, now that were keeping 4 qbs….(4?)……it’s clear somebody had an ego….or a tough time making a call….Big Al’s gone but rm clearly has issues. One quarter plus isn’t enough to evaluate a 4th round pick, so u keep the kid for the “future”. mgloin……? u could cut him and he’d be around whenever u wanted to bring him back…..he’d surley clear waivers u could put him on the practice squad. I still think the mistakes started with the big one (letting hue go) and hiring a 1st time …young head coach (who the h_ll does that sound like???) and continue with rm looking to “cherry pick” vets with something to prove…(read..it’s big al baby..still pulling the strings)……all that being said, giving up on this season is ridickulous! If we start TP, and melnick develops along with the rest of the o’line….if dmc has a ‘contract” year (at least stays healthy and moves the chains) …..if moore gets his head outta his ass…….if we get some bounces to go our way (lucks always a part of it)…..the defense will jell over time (we have some real playmakers on that side of the ball now) we could suprise a few including the writer of this article…..alotta ifs???? well hell, back in 1980 we were picked to be last and certainly many things fell into place for the eventual sb run and win……..give up before the season starts? Sounds like omama backrtacking this week(a good thing)….the “faithful” will keep the faith ……..be realistic? Come on, anything can happen and we all start 0-0……..that’s the truth of it. Save for the donks there r many questions about kc and sd…..and if peyton breaks who knows……..don’t get me started.