A day after seeing Terrelle Pryor make Matt Flynn look old, tentative and lifeless, Dennis Allen told reporters on a conference call that he has yet to decide on a starter, but a few of the Oakland Raiders’ second-year head coach’s comments were quite telling. He started with some bland coach-speak.
That’s a position we’re continuing to evaluate. I think we’re going to look at that a little bit (splitting first-team reps), but we’ll see as the week goes on the direction we go there.
Preseason position battles don’t often extend into the fourth game, but Pryor’s electric evening on Friday has forced the coaching staff’s hand. The 24-year-old dual-threat quarterback may in fact have the lead at the moment. (And speaking for those among us with no faith in Flynn, it’s about time).
Allen reiterated how well Pryor played on Friday. Referencing his athleticism and the energy he brought to the team, and perhaps his most telling comment about Friday’s game against the Chicago Bears may have been the one aimed straight at what Flynn’s supporters have cited as the biggest excuse for his preseason performances thus far.
Overall, I was pleased with the way the offensive line played. You come out of these games and there are always going to be things that you want to work on and things that you’ve got to correct. But, I thought, coming off the New Orleans game, I thought they played a lot better in this game.
The overall preseason numbers are heavily in favor of Pryor, both on the stat sheet and on the scoreboard. Pryor’s completed 14 of 24 passes for 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception, he has 11 rushes for 83 yards and a touchdown, and he’s been sacked twice.
Flynn’s completed 19 of 27 passes for 180 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble. And he’s been sacked seven times.
In 13 drives Flynn has led the Raiders to two field goals and a late touchdown in New Orleans. In his 10 drives, Pryor has led the Raiders to six scores, four field goals and two touchdowns.
I think the competition has been good. Both of them, at times, have looked good. I think Terrelle has an element with his athletic skill that lends to some playmaking ability, so I want to make sure we put him in those positions to give him a chance to have success. I think we’ll continue to do that.
Coach Allen may be hedging, or hinting at splitting time once the season starts, but what is the point of starting Flynn? He’s not more experienced than Pryor.
Matt Flynn has started just 15 football games since 2003.
That is not a typo.
The 28-year-old Flynn graduated high school in 2003, started 13 games in five years at LSU, and has two regular season NFL starts in his five years as a pro.
Pryor’s legendary high school career began in 2004, he followed it by going 31-4 as a starter at Ohio State, and Terrelle has one NFL start.
But Pryor was focusing on his own business Saturday.
Every day I just want to get 1 percent better – that’s my key. All I want to do is get better. I have a love and a passion for this game that is amazing, it’s incredible. I love this game more than anything. I just want to get better every day.
It just baffles me how any Raider fan or coach could still think Flynn is the right choice for this football team. Let’s hope Allen is just playing it close to the vest and Pryor will be starting the opener in Indianapolis.