Why Terrelle Pryor Doesn’t Deserve Another Shot at the Starting Job
Terrelle Pryor has squandered his chance at the starting position in Oakland. Following a Week 3 concussion suffered in Denver, the third-year signal-caller failed to regain the starting position from undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. There have been many opportunities for him to win the job back, but it just always seemed just out of reach. There have been flashes of greatness, and then just as quick as those flashes happen, there is some head-scratching decision to follow it up. Heading into his fourth year in the NFL, Pryor’s throwing mechanics and general ability as a passer are suspect at best. His ability to extend plays with his legs is a great thing to have, but shouldn’t be relied on all the time. The Raiders would be wise to keep him on as a backup QB and move on to find their franchise guy.
In the off-season leading up to this year, Pryor spent a lot of time trying to fix his passing mechanics and pocket presence with Tom House. Coming into the ’13-’14 season, Pryor’s throws and pocket presence looked much improved, but his tendencies to throw off of his back foot, jumping, and across his body came back to hurt him in the latter part of the season. This really affects accuracy in throws. Plenty of Pryor’s throws were either at the receivers feet, or flying over their heads into opposing defenses hands. Many times his receiver would have to jump to even make a play on the ball, drastically reducing the opportunity to gain yards after the catch (something that the new Raiders brass is very high on). The tendencies to roll-out to his right and tuck-and-run while doing so have become apparent to defenses and they are able to stuff him at the line at a high rate. These things should not be something that a QB entering his fourth season as an NFL player would do.
Pryor’s pocket presence could also use some work. There are many times where he is standing in the pocket, and then out of nowhere he lets a bomb go flying down field to a receiver that is smothered in double-coverage just because there “might” have been some pressure from the right or left. Not only does this give testament to how much work needs to be done on his throwing mechanics (because usually this throw is accompanied by his back foot coming off the ground) but to his decision making as well. By slowing down and going through the progression of receivers and stepping up into the pocket, Pryor would buy himself some time and likely find a much higher percentage throw in the short to mid-range of the field.
Moving on from Pryor and keeping him on as a backup QB would give the Raiders a chance to find their franchise guy, as well as keep him on as a gadget player with some specific packages for him to get him into the game. Just having Pryor on the field makes the defense have to man up and play some honest defense. He does have dual-threat capability, but the long and short of it is, Terrelle Pryor cannot be the starter in Oakland if they are looking to build and make a comeback to relevancy.