Reports surfacing Monday seemd to indicate that Terrelle Pryor has won the starting quarterback job for the Oakland Raiders. This obviously gives the Raiders the best chance to win in the interim, and I applaud the coaching staff for being open minded.
Pryor is an extraordinary talent, but he has to improve his accuracy by refining his throwing mechanics. As a fan, the most you can ask for from your team is hardwork and a love for the game. Terrelle Pryor displays both, and adding those qualities to his talent could create another superstar.
Pryor is nowhere close to Colin Kaepernick, RG III, Russell Wilson, or even Cam Newton, but with experience and dedication, he could be. The talent is there.
Personally, I’m not too high on the new fad of the Pistol and Read Option offensive systems. I just think the defenses will close the running lanes and force the quarterback to keep the ball and then tee off on him. As a franchise, you can’t have your $20 million man get hurt. But, I’ll let the defensive coordinators scheme those formations out of existence.
That is not to say that the NFL is not moving towards more mobile quarterbacks, because they are. Remember before these dynamic quarterbacks, we had Aaron Rodgers who could move around and sling it with the best of them. And before that we had Fran Tarkenton. A mobile quarterback gives an offense an edge that the defense has to worry about.
Terrelle Pryor’s season, in my opinion, will be a mixed bag of success and failures. His weakness in the passing game will bring the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage. The question is whether the receivers can beat their man one on one. I trust offensive coordinator Greg Olson to get get creative and help the young quarterback in different ways–by moving the pocket, running bootlegs, and screens.
I believe Pryor can have a 22 touchdown, 10 interception year. Consequently, he can have a 10 touchdown, 20 interception season as well. It’s impossible to predict the kind of year he will have, but I think he will start of strong before there is more tape on him. I don’t have a good feeling for the whole year, so I’m predicting he fizzles down the stretch. That being said, I would love to see Pryor prove me wrong.
As a realist, I’m inclined to write this season off down to rebuilding and answering questions about the quarterback and even Darren McFadden–but I wouldn’t be a fan if I didn’t drink some of the cool aid all of you did.